From Born Not Knowing Better
"Good and upright is the Lord:Therefore he will teach sinners the way; 9 the meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach in his way. 10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies." Proverbs25,8-10.
"I didn't know any better" is one of truest phrases we could ever admit. We aren't born with knowing much about anything, let alone anything important, let alone any better! All knowledge is taught to us by someone, even if that someone is you DIY, even better if that someone is the risen Jesus.
I can't tell you how many times in my life I truly didn't know any better. I've Spent most of my life studying and learning, and have had some great teachers, yet I'm faced with dozens of situations, in one mere day, when "I don't know any better."
And you probably have felt the same way. Life is often delightfully simple. Yet the fact is it sure seems complex at those times when we don't know any better. And don't know the Word, or Lord's voice. So oh my it can sure feel complex.
We're not born knowing better. Don't grow up knowing better. Don't enter into adulthood or live lives knowing better. "Knowing Better" is sometimes a point in time and then again a constant learning process. I shudder to look back on my own abject ignorance and foolishness. And I cringe and ache to see young folks diving into pools of apparent life not knowing any better.
Knowing better has to be taught to us! Wisdom is knowing better, a type of experiential knowledge that we often learn not from the top down, but the bottom up, by own own experiences. Wisdom is not something quick and easy we buy at the dollar store. Would that it were- we could buy it cheap! Instead it's something precious that we seek out and nurture, and then pluck, and then hold onto for dear life.
All our big decisions in life take some planning and wisdom. Parents can save up to send their child to college, but it makes no sense for the whole family to go into real big debt if your college bound creature is not seeking out career goals that require advanced degrees.
We have folks marrying these days who don't know this means putting down the smartphone or remote once in awhile. And means "please" and "thank you," and not flirting, and not bringing pornography home. This is just basic wisdom everyone ought to know by now. But the world will explain it all away for you, if you listen to it and its ruler.
If we look at the New Testament all the various forms of it are written by wise people, by anointed teachers. And the assumption of the whole New Testament is that the reader is looking for some sort of new knowledge and wisdom in Jesus, that prophet-teacher, the first guy to rise from the dead, that miracle worker and our only savior.
James, brother of the Lord, to my mind, is the most teacherly of all the New Testament writers. He had great favor and license to teach as the blood brother of the Lord. He taught that vital first Christian church, the First Christian, Jerusalem, who were fully at the service of the Lord, praise His holy Name.
Luke and John the Revelator are also very teacherly. Oh the bible is a dear possession, full of wisdom and right teaching, that helps us know better. Everyone should have one, and read it for himself or herself, even if you don't believe yet. Just read it anyway. Start with Proverbs, full of wisdom. Our bible is "the good book" because it tells us how to live wisely, and peacefully with our neighbor, and how to live forever in God's presence. This is just some of the things about which we all should know better.
I'm praying this sermon is so easy that even if you have never heard the gospel, you'll understand it. I love to preach- most of all the words and insights that I get from the Lord, about prophecy, and all the big things that it has taken me years just to put into words. But I also love to preach the easiest messages, the simple ones that changed my life and will also change yours.
One of the sermons I preached when I was just a total rookie was 'All Faith Is Downhill.' Life might feel uphill, but faith is just the opposite. We point the skis down the hill. That takes courage and a decision. That takes the grace of God! And then let the Lord move us down the hill. Many religious people just stand at the top of the hill, talking and socializing and making business and politics, all dressed for skiing, but never point the skis downhill!
We do something similar with God's wisdom. We talk about God and the faith and the bible but when it comes to making practical, wise and Godly decisions, we often haven't learned to do that. That's what wisdom is about practical and faithful decisions that elevate the quality of our life and faith. So I'm praying that this sermon would be so easy, so down hill, that you'd see in your soul, in your mind's eye, the sweeping expanse, the practicality and beauty, and consolation and peace, of God's wisdom, of knowing better. And then I pray that you and I will always choose to live that way, as disciplined ones, not wise in our own eyes, but sort of wise in His eyes. Oh praise you Lord, point us down the hill of faith, and give us wisdom, in your holy Name I pray.
To 'I Ought To Know By Now'
Think of the book of James as the transition of Jewish Christians from their "I didn't know any better" stage of faith to their "we ought to know by now" stage. At a certain point in life and faith, it varies from person to person, and church to church, as the Billy Joel song ('Movin Out') says we "oughta know by now."
It's not a pretty spot to be in life when we are still are in the "I didn't know any better" stage when everyone around us is saying "You ought to know by now."
James in his first few verses tells his Jerusalem brothers and sisters three things they ought to know by now: 1. faith includes trial-suffering; 2. this produces steadfastness and; 3. it requires wisdom, to live together in harmony with your brother and sister Christians.
James1,2-5 puts the first two of these wisdoms this way: "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you have trials of various kinds. 3 For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If anyone of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all without reproach [all we have to do is ask], and it will be given him."
We humans lack wisdom several times a day. It's up to us to admit this and ask our Lord what to do. "I don't know any better", but I oughta know by now. So I ask the Lord.
This wisdom seeking is a whole lot easier if we first do what Matthew11,29 tells us: "put on my yoke [the new torah, the new law of the Spirit written on our hearts, Jesus' new teaching] and learn from me [the best teacher] for I am humble and gentle of heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
Wise teaching gives us peace and rest, and a good night's sleep. You know how you sleep well after a good day's work? Well it's interesting that Jesus wants us yoked to him. A yoke is an instrument of work, with Jesus as our leading co-worker. We are not saved by works, but by faith. However to gain the wisdom of the new torah, the new teaching, the new yoke takes some practical work on our part, takes putting on that new teaching and applying ourselves at it.
The Yoke Of His Spirit Lights His Path
The yoke of Jesus isn't an external law like it was for the Hebrews before Jesus. It's an internal law, a Spiritual, a yoke of faith, which lights up His path in our life, an inner light that teaches us, a light that flows from His Spirit to our spirit, from his infinite mind to our finite soul and mind. We Christians are taught by faith and live by faith, and move from one act of faith to the next, from faith to faith and glory to glory. Each of these acts teaches us and urges us on the the next one, as God's Spirit nudges and tugs us toward following the word, and becoming his disciple, a disciplined one, one who knows his or her teacher.
It used to be we would get our schooling and knowledge when we were young, like in high school and college, or in seminary or bible school. And people would assume we learned all we needed 'back in the day.' This is totally outdated and ignorant thinking. It's not like that anymore, and it was never meant to be in our life with Jesus. Learning Him is a life long process. And it happen any time, anywhere, and all the time, and especially over time.
The great thing about Jesus' teaching is that it gets progressively stronger and stronger in our lives, as we become more receptive to it, and less ignorant, as we become more aware of what we ought to know by now. I enjoy the enthusiasm and can do spirit of newbie Christians, but there's a reason why the "pillars" of the faith are usually folks who have been the Lord's property for a longer time, who have proved their devotion for the plans and dreams of God rather than men.
His Word And Spirit Are A Lamp Unto Our Feet
His word is a 'light unto our feet,' (Psalm119,105). That is it shows us where to walk, where to go. This light is not the blinding headlights of new cars, that render us all deer in their headlights. This light is about as bright as a candle ("a flickering wick he will not quench"), which lights up oh a bout several feet in front of us.
It would be great if we were all visionaries and prophets like John the Revelator, seeing two thousand or more years into the future, down the whole path of faith and history. But the fact is wisdom and knowing most often begins with our next two or three foot step. That's where the Spirit and word of God wants to take us, the next step.
Sometimes I get out on the bike, and the sun goes down, and I'm left in the dark. What am I supposed to do? I do have one of those blinking red safety lights. So one of these several times I was caught in the dark coming back from a ball game and I'm thinking there's no way this little red light is going to light up the bike path for 10 miles to get me home.
But sometimes our best wisdom and faith is to just trust the Lord Jesus to light up that two or three feet in front of us, until we get home. I have learned how to ride safely in the dark, two feet at a time.
We humans are all made in the image and likeness of God. We are all spiritual beings, and therefore capable of learning the Spiritual ways of His wisdom from Him. We can do this because all our spirits and souls have little headlights, that just need to turned on by acts of faith which run the current of the Holy Ghost that lights up His path, as a lamp unto our feet.
Jeremiah's 'Balm of Gilead' University Always Close By
There are times in our individual lives, our church's life too, and our nation's life when we are just not interested in the wisdom of God. When we are just going to do whatever we please, and call it "good", and "religious" and "moral", and just totally ignore God's word. This is what Judah did before God permiited the Babylonians to take them captives into exile and burned down their temple in 586BC. According to Ezekiel 8 the priests were not listening to God's word and Spirit. They preferred idolatry. According to Ezekiel 17 the kings were not listening, they preferred making side deals with Egypt when the Lord had clearly showed them to ally with Babylon.
The prophet Jeremiah was fiery man of God with a fire shut up in his bones. He had to get it out. There are times when we have to just prophesy the truth and let the words of God and the conviction of the Holy Ghost fall where they may. Delayed hope makes the heart sick (Proverbs13,2), but it's even worse when we don't speak up. So Jeremiah just spoke up, full of hope and truth.
Jeremiah8,18-22 represents Jeremiah's remedy for the faith sickness and lack of wisdom of Judah, go back to the word of God:
"O my Comforter in sorrow my heart is filled within me. 19 Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away [Babylon]: 'Is the Lord not in Zion? Is he king no longer there?' 'Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their worthless idols? 20 The harvest is passed, the summer has ended and we are not saved. 21 Since my people are crushed; I [Jeremiah] am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wound of my people?
This is not hard to understand. Jeremiah is speaking metaphorically about an actual balm, the balm of Gilead, a type of resin from a balsam tree, from the town of Gilead, in the mountains east of the Jordan river. This resin was mixed into a oily balm and used medicinally. It was available to God's people for physical healing. Jeremiah is using this phrase rhetorically as a comparison, saying that the people of Judah don't want the healing of the Lord's teaching, his Torah, his word and wisdom, when it is right there and always available. (cf Jay Horsley. "The Expository Files 7,6: June 2000, Jeremiah8,22 "Is There No Balm In Gilead?" bible.ca and Got Questions- Balm of Gilead.)
Jesus is our great Physician. Mark2,17: "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners." The sin of abandoning God's wisdom made Judah sick in 600BC. The sin of abandoning God's wisdom at the time of Jesus made Judah sick again and it makes us all sick today if we too abandon it.
Jeremiah is saying all of Judah oughta know by now that the remedy is close by. It's the 'balm of Gilead,' the word, the life-long-torah-connected-to-the-Lord-way-of-living. It's the life long wisdom of sticking to God, clinging to Him in 'hesed' faithfulness, loving covenantal faithfulness, whereby we live his word, and always turns to him, and by doing so we are "healed" spiritually.
Revelation22,2 speaks of the risen Jesus as the 'tree of life' in the heavenly city. His leaves are for healing. Balsam from Gilead was used for medicinal healing. From Jeremiah and the 'tree of life' and this verse, we know some trees heal. And from Genesis2,17 we also that some trees curse, as in tree of knowledge of good and evil, Satan. Satan has leaves of cursing as were Adam and Eve by their sin.
Here at Revelation22,2 is the healing tree of Jesus: "Through the middle of the street of the city; also on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
The tree of life, Jesus, is the risen balm of Gilead, our healer, the medicine we need, a risen balsam tree, risen wisdom so to speak. As a risen and eternal tree he is the new wisdom of God, the new medicine of God. He heals us by teaching us the wisdom of his word, of His loving faithfulness, of His way, life and truth.
In our ignorance we human beings often say "I need to go to this medical doctor, and that psychologist, and this and that therapist or expert." And when these don't work, it's on the mediums and witches and tarot card readers, and magicians and Christian wizards and thie little Caesar cousins.
Oh yes go to medical doctor, the doctor of your body. And to the mental health professionals if that's what ails you. But if you want to get at the root of the first sickness in your life, your sin sickness, it's time for you to meet the doctor of doctors, the doctor of your eternal body and soul, our Great Physician, Jesus.
His word tells us that our sin sickness is a fatal disease. Therefore we need the new law of righteousness, a new torah, a new balm from Gilead, a new wisdom to be healthy. And this all is Jesus himself, our great physician, whose washing blood coupled with our actual and saving faith in him renders us spiritually healthy with a wiser way to live.
Time To Stop Saying 'I Don't Know Any Better'
It's time for us "Christians" to stop saying "I didn't know any better" and instead say to Jesus "I oughta know by now."
"I oughta be grown up by now."
"I oughta an adult man or women of God by now."
Rather than a spoon fed church goer, that just coddles the next generation, and teaches them the same feints and ignorances that we live by, yet fails to teach them the fundamental priorities of the the word, the balm of Gilead that heals and wises up us all.
Jesus is our new law, our lifelong university, our lifelong learning instructor. But are we willing to enroll in him and to come up with the faith tuition of saying "yes" and "amen" to Him and His Word throughout our life?
This sermon is the preliminary lesson in Jesus University. It can mark our transition from "I didn't know any better" to "I do know better" to "I walk in the light of His wisdom."
Praise Jesus- there's a good lifelong education plan.
Too many folks get to an age, with too many debts and too many doubts, and rather than waking up and doubling down on the wisdom of Jesus they double down on ignorance, mendacity (lying to yourself) and greed and then become hampsters on spinning wheel.
Too many people in our culture and too many Christians live the Brazilian proverb: "I don't know. I don't want to know and I hate who knows."
I'm going to preach "Ten Ways Of Wisdom After I Didn't Know Any Better." Praise the Lord some of you may have had these taught to you early in your life, or at an appropriate time, from parents no less. I'm amazed at how few parents actually give advice and counsel to their kids.
I was brought up in the free range school of parenting, not necessarily by design. But I came to the graceful conclusion that a free range childhood was one thing, but a free range adulthood is no bueno. We had a free range dog too! Our neighbors will never forget that dog, seen all over town, back when that kind of thing was permitted. Free range dog, free range kid.
I see a lot of free range kids and adults even today. And folks just call it good, as if the lessons and teachings of God's word were not made for them!
I wonder when someone is going to start teaching the miilions of free range folks the ways of wisdom.
Eyes Tight Shut Mouths Wide Open
What do I know, but kids are like little birds in the nest, eyes tight shut and mouths wide open. And they are hungry to learn, something, anything. Yet more and more we have largely left teaching and learning up to our nanny state politicians that makes sure our public schools teach all sorts of politically correct nonsense, but next to nothing about the important things of faith, justice, compassion, mercy, right and wrong, free speech, political freedoms, self-reliance, independence, and wisdom.
I love those adoption and foster kid TV commercials. Perhaps you have seen them, about how you don't have to be perfect to be an adoptive parent, you just need to be a parent period. And those kids, they need all those talks about college and jobs and sex and relationships that never got from their bio parents.
Some folks have never got anything close to any teaching about knowing any better, let alone ten ways of wisdom. So many folks who claim to be Christians, well into adulthood and beyond, are not evidencing Godly or any wisdom at all. I see folks who just give up on wisdom, and live one distracted day after another, just happy as good consumers, building bigger barns, renting more storage rooms, or going broke trying.
Some of you may have got some of these ways of wisdom the hard way, in the school of hard knocks, and praise the Lord for that type wisdom, and any type. Some of you might get one or two of them through this sermon, this first lesson in Jesus University. But any wisdom that doesn't bring us to the wisdom of a saving faith in Jesus is wisdom that hasn't gone far and deep enough.
1Corinthians1,27-31 describes the wisdom of the humble, who have chosen Jesus as their "wisdom from God":
"But God chose what is foolish in the world [lowly faithers in Jesus, lowly Corinthians no better or worse than sinners today] to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that it is written 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
Let's learn something here and now from Jesus, rather than boast about our own learning. Let's boast in what He has taught us. He is meek and gentle of heart as our teacher, and his university is always free and enrolling. The choice is up to you, Jesus University and wisdom or the School of Hard Knocks and foolishness.
Here's ten ways of wisdom, the most basic ones, after 'I didn' know any better.'
1. "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' " Psalm14,1
Jesus forgave his killers saying "Forgive them father they don't know what they are doing." Luke23,34 They killed Him which was hateful and unjust, but at least they knew enough not to say 'There is no God."
To say there is no God, to be an atheist, is the strangest human foolishness there is. It's not just neglect of God or dishonoring God. It is to actively oppose God, an attempt to eliminate the very idea of God. When we do this, we're not just opposing an idea, or words on paper, or a philosophy or theology, we are actively fighting the only almighty person there ever has been, and ever will be. We are fighting someone who has, as we preached the last three times times, total jurisdiction over our present, and our eternal life, and death.
Atheists are not fighting with us faithful. They are fighting God himself. He is the number one wrong person to fight with because he always wins in the end.
This stance of an atheist is not just blind foolishness to God, but to be recklesslly doubtful and oppositional. Atheism requires a professed faith, just as our faith in Jesus requires profession, a faith that professes there is no God. This stance cannot be successfully maintained, neither in life or death, because just as God isn't indifferent to our suffering and good deeds, he isn't indifferent when we spread the false word, that he doesn't exist.
But some people just can't seem to resist professing atheism, it's a demon spirit that people refuse to resist.
Whereas we look at the bounty and goodness of creation and nature and what do we see: "The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Psalm19,1). Likewise, to look at the miracle of God allowing us, with his help, to bring life into the world, as did Abraham and Sarah, in their nineties, "by this time next year you will conceive." To look at the compassion and mercy and forgiveness of humans laying down their lives for a friend, out of faith and love of Jesus, suggests we have a real conncection, Spirit to spirit, with our living God.
So to say God doesn't exist is the most foolish thing to say. "Only a fool has said in his heart there is no God."
Now we might wonder and doubt. That's honest. But as soon as we say "God doesn't exist" we are spreading a false teaching to which God himself will personally respond by way of grace unto faith, or a severe and major correction to which you best pay heed. And remember "It's a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
"The begining of wisdom is the fear [ie reverence] of the Lord." (Psalm11,10) Even if we don't know Him, even if we have doubts. As mere human beings we must hold on to that reverence for the Lord, even the idea of God, if we don't know Him at all. It is the first step of wisdom to avoid at all costs the foolishness of proclaiming that God doesn't exist:
"But you- who do you think you, a human being, are, to answer back to God? Something that was made, can it say to its maker: why did you make me this shape?" Romans9,20
Isaiah45,9 also sums up this first of ten wisdom ways: "Woe to those who quarrel with their maker, those who are nothing but clay pots among the clay pots on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter 'What are you making?' Does your work say, "the potter has no hands?
In other words it's dishonest and quarrelsome to say, in God's 'hearing', that He didn't create you.
2. The second way of biblical wisdom is this, Exodus20,12: "Honour your father and mother so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you."
Some people, and perhaps many more, come from families where it's not easy to honor father and mother. Families can be like the opening lines of "A Tale of Two Cities" written by Charles Dickens in 1859. The subject matter of this book concerned London and Paris just prior to the French Revolution:
"it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of increddulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we have everything before us and we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct to hell..."
And God surely knows the best and worst, the times and seasons of families. Yet he still insists that we honor our father and mother. This is the one commandment of the ten that comes with a blessing. The other nine have no blessing, but here God equates the inexchangeable gift of families with the inexchangeable gift of the promised land, of the kingdom, of Zion. That's a major thing to equate honoring father and mother and the the kingdom of God. They both are permanent.
So there is something very profound in a son or daughter's restraint towards parents, good or bad, and good and bad, a parent who along with God gave life. "Honor your father and mother..." is sort of similar to what Paul said about husband loving wives as their own flesh, cherishing and nourishing, because no man hates his own flesh. Ephesians5,29. We'll get to that marital wisdom soon.
So when one dishonors one's wife, or parents, no matter how bad or neglectful or evil, one is tearing down one's own flesh, soiling ones own family name and existence.
If you find this commandment overly burdensome look at a daughter who has lost her Dad for a while, or even a very long time, for whatever reason. Mayby Dad was run out the house, or mayby he left in selfishness, or whatever. It often doesn't matter, a daughter will just honor him anyway, because some sort of dad is better than no dad at all.
And God knows all this.
Some sort of dad or mom, I hope you all can say that, is better than no mom or dad at all. That's one of the reasons why God says' honor your mother and father.' And look at it this way. If it's especially difficult for you to do that, He also knows that too. Perhaps, that why he makes this faith choice easier by pairing it up with the blessing of a long life in the land, eternal life in the kingdom.
In the end, the faith of honoring father and mother is worth it according to God's wisdom.
3. The third pillar of biblical wisdom is known as the 'golden rule.' This rule sums up Jesus' most well known wisdom teachings, Matthew7,12: "So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets."
This is so simple and down to earth, but it's also sublime when it is practiced. This rule is not asking much. If something changes in our human interaction, or schedule, or circumstances, we humans give each other a heads up. We treat each other like adults, if in fact we are adults. We value honesty and openess and not deceiving each other. There used to a popular Christian cartoon about 15 years back, "Veggie Tales" and the various vegetables would all preach "Stop Lying."
That's a big part of the golden rule. "Stop Lying" to each other. That's the golden rule.
The golden rule assumes a culture where we are all not the same, but at the very least a humanity that interacts with itself, regardless of race creed color and background. Jesus died for us all. The golden rule assumes that the people who follow it and Him already have a certain degree of love for all humanity, with an expanded concept of neighbors, with at least love enough to practice the golden rule anyway. I listened on NPR recently how the first McDonalds got into Moscow. They had to teach the people to be like friendly and happy and interact in public. The golden rule in Russia wasn't quite like that, interacting didn't much happen public between strangers.
Our present day USA culture is a hyperindividualistic culture, now an increasingly online culture, and fast paced, and the golden rule, as we just said, assumes and demmands a certain minimum level of public interaction, and that means our norms of social interactions must rise to a level that is mutually pleasing and agreeable. But it seems the more technologically connected we get the more unconnected in real time and space we get. Sort of a human laziness and slovenly disregard for others.
I spend a lot of time in libraries and churches. And for thousands of years I suppose in both libraries and churches one is expected to be on one's best behavior. Sometimes one has to be specifically taught how to act in public places because we just don't know any better.
And the good old USA is real diverse nowadays, real multi cultural. And I'm confident that adults can work out the golden rule in public spaces despite vastly diverse backgrounds, whereby some don't interact in public. I find this mash up interesting, so long as we all understand that the golden rule assumes and demands a certain level of human interaction, a certain caring about the other, a certain neighborliness, enough to actually work out diffficulties. This golden rule interaction would include the opportunity that everyone gets a chance to speak, but sooner or later a golden rule would be put into practice and lived by everybody.
But I see a trend where people in all sorts of public places are just blowing off the whole golden rule thing, and there is no interaction, by design, sort of a post apocalyptic sub humanity. Well it's true, working out the golden rule takes some patience, time, respect for others, and wisdom. And human interaction and recognition of the needs of the other person. This trend of not really caring one whit about the golden rule in public or any one else in public makes me think the Holy Ghost has already left much of the church and the culture, and the earth. So we better start agreeing on the golden rule sooner rather than later because it is the building block of all law, all civilization, all defensible religions, and any worth while public life and politics.
What I think is the golden rule at the library and what you think is the golden rule there might be two different things. And that OK as long as there is some semblance of a golden rule there.
Would that it were practiced when we were driving. Would that we all drive as if we were not the only ones on the road.
Have you ever had the public gumption to politetly confront someone when they still act as if they are all alone on the planet? Be prepared for various reactions because many folks live in their own bubble even in public. Of course they are fully aware that they are not alone in public, but that quaint civilized idea of the golden rule, that's for blokes and blokettes and Christians and civilized folks to worry about, but they don't really have time for it.
The wisdom of God is that we all practice the golden rule now, without waiting for the other person to go first.
The golden rule, like the mercy of not judging, has nothing to do with folks actully deserving good treatment or mercy. We follow it because it comes from the wise and teaching lips of Jesus himself who challenges us to recognize the log in our own eyes.
Oh my, our savior Jesus teaches a strong person's gospel, a wise gospel, a gospel word that separates the bone and the marrow, a gospel that leaves no place for us to hide our own sins, or any place to hide from the wisdom of the golden rule.
4. Find the way, the life, and the truth, Jesus and salvation, and find yourself and your voice.
Jesus told Thomas and the rest of the Apostles at John14,4 that they knew the way to the place where he was going, ie heaven unto eternal life, and the kingdom. But Thomas didn't know any better and thus humbly asked at v.5 "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Instead of giving a discourse on heaven, and all the future blessings of the kingdom, Jesus says he's the only the way to all those blessings: "I am the way and the truth and the life."
Sometimes we think our way is the only way, but Jesus' way really is the only way. We try our own various ways, like money, like power, like romance. As to romance it's probably not good and wise to try and find our way via romantic relationship. That's to put too much pressure on the other person, and the relationship. Sometimes people even lose their core values and identity when love leads them away from right ways and from themselves. Better to know ourselves, our humanity as God sees us, before we start finding yourself in dating and marriage.
But finding ourselves in Jesus, as our way, as our truth is supreme wisdom. He doesn't mind the pressure of our personal relationship with him. As Peter said "cast all our care on him for he cares for us." Try casting all your cares on your date, your beloved, or even your spouse and see how that goes. While we bear each other burdens as Christians, and in relationships especially, God remains our first devotion, our first covenant, our rock of salvation.
Psalm25,10 epitomizes this whole sermon after we admit 'I didn't know any better:' "All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant."
The Lord's wise ways begin with a decision for salvation. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The old way of the world, the devil and the flesh is a path of pride and foolishness that leads us dead on the side of the wrong road, dead in spirit, and outside the presence of God. But a wise decision for Jesus gives us a new way, makes us a new person, and gives us a savior, a shepherd who guides our new born spirit and soul unto strength, health and truth.
We Stand Up - Speak Up After Making A Personal Lifelong Covenant With Jesus
As the song says: "Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I'm worn. Through the storm through the night, lead me on to the light, take my hand precious Lord lead me home." (Thomas A. Dorsey)
After he leads us on, we can stand up and speak up. "Let me stand." Oh I like that lyric.
Only people who have personally found Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, can stand on their own two feet, and even that by his grace alone and our faith alone. We talked about children in the nest, eyes tight shut and mouths wide open. Well children and Christians are supposed to grow up, stand up, speak up, and cleaned up in Jesus name baptism and then enter into a lifelong personal covenant. Calling His Name over us, calls down His presence, and infills with it, with His strength, and then come out of the watery chaos and we stand on own two legs and two feet, and the faith and salvation won for us by Jesus on Calvary!
Stand up and speak up, that the only way to truly find oursleves, not just talk the church talk and denominational handbook speak, but stand up straight in Jesus name, full of the Holy Ghost, ready to walk that new path, with eyes wide open, and say what Jesus tells us to say, not afraid of the "Pharisees" who will then try to shut us back up at every turn:
"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be madwe known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of theose who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew10,26-28.
Why is it that preachers hog the microphone and don't let others speak up for Jesus and the gospel? They want the power and the cash for themselves, and get envious-jealous. So all this and cowardice too creeps into every church decision. And what happens? Our churches are anemic, without gospel huzpah, just one voice, and mayby a pastor's kid or spouse once a awile, or an assistant who mimics the business office. Some won't even allow that. And there you have hundreds of people and not 1% of them has developed the gospel tongue that the Holy Ghost gave all of us on the day of Pentecost!
Not 1% of Christians ever get the chance to speak up for Jesus, in church. That's not God's wisdom. That's not finding our way and life and truth in Jesus.
The Saved Speak Up
Oh my, over in Europe they have way more oral exams. Here in the good old USA we have mostly written exams. And I like writing, but in our life of faith there are way more oral exams.
Or, say you have to give your boss at work an update on an important project. Would you rather write another boring email. Or speak up man, speak up! I don't want to write another email or give or receive a good news status report.
Remember when Jesus was asking all the apostles 'who do men say that I am?' And then who do you all say that I am? That's an oral exam. That was the Apostles time to stand up speak up, show their new found wisdom, their time to develop their own God given, day of Pentecost tongue, and a mind that now knows better. A tongue and mind and spirit that knows their Lord, that doesn't stay silent like a potted plant waiting for a sexton or sacristan to sprinkle a little water on them once a week, but proclaims what the Lord whispers in the darknes real loud, with a shout of glory, in the full light of day!
Our Lord said "Go and teach all the world all I have taught you," not go and sit like potted plants reciting the creeds of men, and making crafty politics, and making wordly business in the house of God.
A gospel person is a man or woman that has found Jesus as his own way, his own truth and his own life, heard his voice and knows it. And this person is going to 'go tell it on the mountain' in his own voice, in his own way, for the glory of Jesus' name, a person who has become an adult Christian, not afraid to pray or prophesy, or bear burdens, and who doesn't wait for persmission from some uniformed and entitled "reverend" so and so, often just another denominational hierling, or worse, a wolf in sheeps clothing.
We're going to meet Jesus in the end, on bended knee, probably prostrate, asking for mercy. But watch out, he just might ask us "Didn't you read that part of my word when the Pharisees tried to shut up my people because they were saying the truth and "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest." 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" I tell you, he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
Didn't you read where I said 'the rocks will cry out' if my people keep silent? Didn't read that part at 1Peter2,5 when you were supposed to be a living stone not a dead stone in the new temple of God? And not only did you not cry out the gospel in faith, but you tried to silence the living stones who were crying it out? And now you think you should be spared?
I don't know about you, but why would any one of us redeemed folks, with redeemed souls and tongues, let anyone shut us up after we have found our way, and our truth, and our life?
It's time to stop saying "I don't know any better" and instead say real loud with a shout of glory "I know Jesus. I know the way unto all blessing. And so I have made my personal covenant with Him. I know Him, and I know better now. And by God's grace and strength I'm going to stand up and give my testimony, and if the Pharisees and Philistines don't like it. They can write Jesus an email, but I'm planning on being ready for my final exam!"
5. Sex and marriage decisions can have lifelong consequences for you and others so tread lightly and lovingly and wisely.
Ephesians5,25-29 is our text here, primarily verse 29: 25 "Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word [another baptismal referance], 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds it and cares for it, just as Christ does the church."
Oh my do we need wisdom when it comes to sex and marriage. I make no pretense of teaching anything comprehensive here at N. 5 of the "Ten Ways Of Wisdom After I Didn't Know Any Better." But we can't very well teach biblical wisdom without preaching on the achilles heal of human foolishness, which is sexuality without wisdom and Godly love.
I do a lot of deliverance and say in the last 50 deliverances I've done, probably 45 included the demon of "foolishness." Foolishness is everywhere nowadays but especially in drugs, even legalized marijuana, and sexuality out side the Spirit of God.
Sexuality tripped up Samson. And I'm guessing it sort of tripped up Jacob and Rachel who fell in love at the well the first time they met, whereby old daddy Laban got a little mad, and made Jacob wait, then got back at him by giving him Leah first. Sexuality tripped up the pastor of the first Christian church at Ephesus, we don't know his name and don't need to. And there were Corinthian backsliders, all forms of them , who right from the start and throughout history and the church have been tripped up. Christ said, and I'm paraphrasing for the sake of modesty: better to give up sex alltogether than not get to heaven because of not being able to control yourself (Matthew18,8)
I'm not here to be polemical about sexuality, just to steer back to the inspired words of the Apostle Paul about the values of marriage here in Ephesians5,25-29. Marriage, and thus sexuality, is about caring and gentleness, and nourishing and feeding. It's also about the very curious phrase Paul uses not "hating one's own flesh." That is, husbands have no right to turn on their wives, by physically intimidating or overpowering them, by subjugating them- that would be to hate their own flesh. There's difference between the headship of a husband and the subjugation of a wife by a husband. Subjugation by a husband is a type of turning against a wife, a hatred of one's own flesh. Physical Subjugation is a type of hating one's own spouse, a hate of ones own flesh.
No she's your own flesh, your own complement, you don't hate your own flesh, so treat her lovingly.
This is simliar to Wisdom Way N. 2 about honoring one own mother and father, who gave us flesh. A wife is considered part of a husband's flesh, especially in the Greco Roman culture. Paul is trying to tweak and evangelize this culture toward a more Jewish and more God centered and egalitarian person based sexuality.
Paul's strategy is to say in effect 'what Greco Roman man doesn't love his own flesh and think he's all that, and more.'
Verse 30 kicks up marriage a notch by way of Paul's Jewish esteem for marriage by saying that a united man and wife become one flesh, not just one physical flesh, but one spiritual flesh, as the Church and the risen Jesus are one flesh, one spiritual or risen flesh. You've heard me teach this a hundred times when we go to the table of the Lord at the end of each of "The Preaching Hour." Both the church united to the risen Jesus and wife united to husband are one "flesh," one important and spiritual and faithful thing. Like Jesus is in service of his body, the church, so the husband serves and loves his flesh, which includes His wife.
He's not the dominator of the wife but a Chrislike servant of the marriage.
This completely takes sexuality and marriage out of the prennially foolish 'use me as I use you' context of all bad marriages, and all sexual foolishness that is ultimately vicious, hurtful, and hateful to all concerned.
6. Money is very costly.
Matthew6,24: "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."
Money, like sex, is one of the things that has the consuming power to divorce us from the Spirit of God. The love of money, not money itself, is the root of all evil. Because even "good" people will do almost anything to get it, rather than suffer the shame of not having it. Just watch "Investigation Discovery" on ID TV. There's nothing people won't do for money. Why? Because it is clearly their god.
Have you ever signed a mortgage, or even a car or student loan? Well that mortgage or loan is a very serious and costly thing. It's a contract that tells you what you will be doing for a certain time to come. I wish we lived in a world where Christians, and others never signed any loan contracts, but when we sign that note there is the risk that we chase money so feverishly and with such great devotion that money becomes our god.
Proverbs22,7: "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." When we borrow money we become the servant of the lender.
It's way necessary to know how much money borrowing really costs. It's real costly, sometimes so costly that it makes no sense to borrow it. But whether chasing money to pay loans or chasing it out of greed and materialism money can easily become our false god, who plays us, and tells us we must have more, more, more, whatever it costs us.
It used to be on secular radio stations in Connecticut, at least in Sundays you would hear Christian preaching, now you hear hours and hours of money shows. "This one on money that one of money." Everybody has a money show! And preachers are afraid to preach for 30 minutes.
We love our vehicles in the good old USA, humble cars, used cars, huptis, new ones, old ones, inefficient ones, trucks, motorcycles, you name it, we love them. And gotta have 'em. Folks with go without milk and eggs to buy stuff for their cars.
About 85% of new cars purchases are financed and about 54% of used car purchases are. But the word is word: the borrower is servant of the lender.
Loans give the idea that we can buy more car, more house, more whatever than we can really afford. "Oh it's just a monthly payment. Oh I'll make enough. Oh my wife won't get pregnant. Oh I'm in good health now. Oh my kid won't need braces." And then folks get a little behind, and the car gets a couple dings and you want another one, and the dinged one is not worth even what you owe, and you buy another one, and you add that first car debt to the second one, so your "easy $300 payment" is now $500.
And you promised your spouse a deck, how about a home improvement loan?
And before you know it you are worshipping money that you don't have, serving a loan investor you don't know, and you're losing track of the living God of Israel, whose name you used to use before you made big decisions. But now you are being led around by your god, money.
Money is costly in every way shape and form. To earn it- blood sweat and tears. To borrow it is even more costly. To be wasteful with it and think it buys you happiness, is fatal to our souls, another wrong god.
"Look at the birds of the air they neither toil or spin yet God feeds them, how much more are we that a mere bird." I am not against material things. I'm against the slavery of God's people.
The church is full of folks who equate righteouness with material wealth. That's the false doctrine of "prosperianity," and it's still selling vey nicely. No, righteousness equates with personal faith, and the grace of Jesus that brought us to faith, and the washing blood of Jesus on Calvary.
7. Godly faith, forgiveness, mercy and love stabilize us in every storm.
It's summertime and have you ever walked out on a pier at the beach, at the ocean, and wondered how long it took to build that pier right?
The Lord gave me this image. When the heavy storms hit that pier think how far down those pilings have to be driven into the muck and sand of that beach floor to stay stable? I'd tell you exactly, if I were an engineer. I'm just a faither but what I know is that each of us needs some pretty deep biblical pier pilings if we are going to survive the storms that come our way.
I look at my own life, my first pier piling is faith in Jesus. Faith roots us in Jesus, trusting him, that he's got all our needs and enemies and future in his sights. Faith is not just word. It is confidently acting on the promises of God again (Scott). It's also a discipline, a learned wisdom, that overcomes storms. Discipleship is our next way of wisdom.
But by faith we again and again put some of the promise of God into action, by prayer, by decisions, by a choice, by an act of our mind, by seeking good counsel. All these faith decisions help us, one by one, to survive the storm. Faith is one of the spiritual piers pilings in our lives.
The second pier piling is forgiveness. When storms come in our lives, it's totally necessary to have the energy to fight them, fight the warfare, and how can we do that when we are all tied up in our own unforgiveness. Unforgiveness can make the best and strongest sailor into just another drunken weakling idiot at the pool hall, looking to cause trouble.
Forgiveness is a wise decision. It's the law of God's word: "Unless you forgive your brother from the heart, your heavenly father will not forgive you." I see people in crisis in storms and their unforgiveness just makes it worse. It's a type of ignorance, totally understandable, but totally unacceptable to God. It happens by way of a decision, once and for all, but we have to keep remembering that decision, keep respecting it, so unforgiveness won't rear back, and let any storm rule the day.
The third pier piling of our storm surviving pier follows from faith and forgiveness. It's the practice and ability to show mercy. To overlook some of the little stuff in others and oursleves. In storms it's tempting to seek justice at all costs, to lash out but that's wasted energy. In storms mercy enobles us and others. It's a sign that hope and victory is already on the way.
Showing mercy is not just caring for others. It's caring for ourselves too, because the negative can just topple folks in storms. Stay human, that's one of the challenges and graces of storms, staying human while suffering, going through it.
Mercy is one of the best qualities about our shared humanity. As opposed to animals, we can knowingly choose mercy, and stay human like our Lord, not an animal.
The fourth and final piling in our pier that survives storms is Godly love, for Jesus and for others. Godly love is stronger than death and crucifiction. When all the apostles were far from Jesus on the cross, out of fear, it was only the three Marys and the beloved disciple (John19,25), the ones that had already arrived at the elevating place of Godly love.
Some people have been so hurt, I think they have to start again at it by loving dogs first, before people or Jesus. Ok start with a dog on Church Street in Burlington if you have to. Then you have a chance to move up to humans, and then perhaps up to Jesus, and Godly love.
I know some folks love sports, just love football or hockey, or some hobby, for the sheer love of the sport or hobby. But then again there others who are into a sport or hobby because somebody in the stands loves them and is watching. They play not so much because they love the game, but for their fans, and the love surrounding the game.
Any way we look at Godly love, it's fervent and not afraid to pay the price of its expression. Such love elevates human mortivations. This ability to elevate us is probably what Paul meant when he said without the Godly Holy Ghost gift of love, he was a clanging gong, nothing.
Godly love is the last of our pier pilings and it clearly goes the deepest. And covers the most sins. It was why Jesus came to save us ("God so loved the world that he gave his..") and it was why he chose to die on Calvary ("no Greater love ...than this, that we lay down our lives for a friend.")
This kind of love gets us through through the storm.
That's our seventh way of wisdom, investing in the deep pier pilings of faith, forgiveness, mercy and Godly love.
8. Faith makes us a disciple, a disciplined one.
I love be around creative people. Can you imagine the creativity of the prophets Daniel, Ezekiel and John the Revelator, and Jesus. All of them had the creative ability to take the old and make it new, and bring something that was never said before. Prophets are creative, they see far in the distance, see patterns where other people see confusion, but also can focus on putting God's words on paper right in front of them.
It took great discipline for each of them to put their creativity into words. God doesn't dictate words to anyone, as if we couldn't mess up the message. We humans can always mess up the message. Those prophets listened carefully and creatively, and then they write it down, getting the meaning. It's not dictation.
The creativity of hearing and seeing by the prophet takes discipline. But the greater discipline of the Christian is not hearing and seeing, it's taking the vastly creative ways and means of God, and expressing them in concrete ways that convey God's meaning to others.
Prophets don't write and sound off for themselves. They write and sound off because God tells them to. I'm often perfectly content with the insights the Lord gives me, but then, oh my, he wants me to make them intelligible to others. This takes discipline, that takes discipline about 23-30 hours per Preaching Hour.
I like artists. They are like prophets. From what I gather, their biggest challenge isn't in creating their art, the way they want, it's is keeping it true to it's original inspiration and at the same time somehow also making it capable of being received by someone besides themselves. Again they might be happiest creating for themselves and God, but then again they are driven, ask God why, and compelled to share it, not necessarily for fame and fortune, but for other people too.
It's counterintuitive but true inspiration always starts with an individual, but it's almost always ends up communal. It requires great discipline and wisdom to share something inspired.
Many of us Christians have good isnpired ideas and gifts and talents and all the rest, but it seems that only the disciplined ones overcome challenges, and are not afraid of picking up their cross and getting something done regarding the mission.
But the comforting thing about Christianity for me is this. To be a disciple is what brings me the greatest peace. One sermon or one prophesy might make somebody popular, but the next makes him or her a goat. But a disciple is a disciple, day in day out, always. He or she has the wisdom of the Christian faith discipline, has the wisdom to just carry on, the wisdom to accept the fact that Jesus offered us salvation, and many blessings, but has read John15,20 'The disciple is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me they will persecute you too."
Service in the body of Christ is somewhat like a modern day MLB team, without the high salaries anyway. People are satisfied with you if you got a hit on your last at bat. But then you are considered a star if you hit for a 300 average, and a goat for a 200 average.
But Jesus and any pitcher knows that the guy hitting 200 might have more home runs that the "star" hitting 300.
But both the 200 hitting "goat" and the 300 hitting "star" have a lot of discipline in common regarding the game of baseball. Both are still among th best of all baseball players in all the world. And thus it's not so much great success in baseball that defines a MLB palyer's life, but great discipline, 162 games a year. It's a pretty narrow gate that leads to MLB stardom.
Likewise a wise disciple of Jesus is not afraid of living in a way that leads through the narrow gate of eternal life. Matthew7,13-14: "Enter through the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
A disciple, a taught one, is not afraid of Luke6,26: "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?" A disciple does what Jesus says, not what some star "preacher," selling vitamins on the side, says.
A wise disciple would not cringe from James4,4: "you adulterous people [unfaithful to God], don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."
A wise disciple knows Mark4,15-18: "Some people are like seed along the path where the word is sown. As soon as the hear it, satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like see sown in roocky places, hear the word and at once recive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root [no discipline], they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away..."
(Br. Fitzchery, biblereasons.com/narrow-path/ 4.21.15, was helpful in pointing out many discipleship scriptures)
Prophets, artists that actually get art done, MLB baseball players, and wise Christians all have their brand of discipline. They all know that talent and inspiration is not enough, discipline is also needed to make it to the end game.
9. "A wise man has many counsellors." Proverbs15,22 and 11,14.
One of the most comforting things to hear when we lack wisdom, when we don't know any better is to hear several people whose counsel and judgment we respect say the same thing about our situation, our need. Contrariwise, one of the worst thing to hear when we lack wisdom or a word from the Lord is to ask seven folks and get seven different answers.
Everybody has an opinion about most everyting if you ask them.
But not everyone gives good counsel.
There are lots of online reviews of hotels and for all kinds of services, there's a review. And what do people like Clark Howard say about online reviews, throw out the best and the worst, which are likely biased or wierd, or planted, and get a sense of the real ratings on the product of service.
When we need wisdom, and seek our Godly people to find it, there might be some disparity and disagreement, but there's going to be a consensus, sooner or later, if people know the word and the Spirit and you and your situation. I was recently faced with a car situation whereby I must have talked to seven people. One set of folks was telling me to 'go the whole nine yards and spend a whole lot,' and another set that was saying 'it's not all that bad a problem, and even if you do all that work, the engine still might not run right, or live on.'
I don't know about you, but not everyone is objective about their cars, or churches, or jobs, or poilitics or other things we hold dear, and are emotionally attached to. Some people get a scrape on their three year old car and that's a good enough reason to get another. Others you'll have to pry the keys out of their hands before and pay them twice what the car is worth just to stop them from driving it. For them an old car is like a loveable old dog, you hate to see it go, want to keep it as long as possible.
Now I tend toward the latter, but I also want what needs to be done to be done right and safely, or why drive it?
So I had a choice between two sets of counsellors. It came down the fact that the just fix what's necessary folks knew the actual situation of the car better, and knew that it was not as bad as we thought.
So the word of God, a wise man has many counsellors, came true as the word always does. I asked a gal today. She got a new car and she said "My last one was costing me too much time in the shop." That might have been wise counsel for her, but for others mayby not. God's wisdom is based on principles and teaching of the word, but also on each one of our particular situations.
But if I hadn't had many counsellors, and jumped at my wisdom, I might still have the same car but at a much greater expense, and I would not nearly have been taken to the next level of car wisdom. Car wisdom is a great help in this day and age, when so many people can hardly afford one.
Likewise, the body of Christ is full of people who have gifts and talents, and often even the gift of counsel. Most Christians devoted to Jesus are happy to give a word of counsel, and as any good lawyer or doctor, would welcome your getting advice not just from them but from others too. The last thing a true Christian wants to be is your boss man, your director, or take advantage of your situation.
10. Family is important but friends are golden.
Proverbs18,24: "A man of too many friends comes to ruin. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
John15,15: "I no longer call you servants, because a servant doesn't know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I have learned from my Father I have made know to you."
We become a friend of Jesus, by his teaching, by receving it and him, with enthusiasm. With this friendship comes his gift of wisdom for by this friendship we know our master's business. A real friend doesn't hold anything back, good or bad. Friendship allows for communcation, especially when we are about to get tripped up.
When we about to get tripped up or make a mistake a good friend like Jesus speaks up. That's sticking closer than a brother.
A brother knew us back when, back in our diaper days, back when we were brats growing up, or whatever, a brother knows the broad outline of our lives, but a friend like knows us day by day, problem by problem, and can now still look upon us in the best and higher light, an adult light.
Just Ask- Because There Are No Dumb Questions to Him
There are our "Ten Ways Of Wisdom After I didn't Know Any Better." These ten are our first lifelong class in Jesus University. Jesus is our balm of Gilead, our new Torah, our new wisdom, the healing leaves of wisdom on our one tree of life. We are made in his Spiritual image and likeness and that means we can know many things when by faith we act on his promises, when our faith turns on the Holy Ghost powered headlights of our spirits and minds.
There are literal meanings in the bible. There are figurative or spiritual meanings in the bible. James1,5-6 is meant to be taken lietrally by each of us: "If any oneof you [every one of us can gain it!] lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault [He's not offended by our ignorance, he just wants us to ask], and it will be given him. But when he asks, he must faith and not doubt..."
With Him there are no dumb questions, just questions that are often asked without the necessary faith to receive all the wisdom He's willing to send down. So Just ask! With faith, actually and confidently acting on the promises of his new torah, his new teaching, the old joined to the new. Ask about these ten ways of wisdom, after we admitted we didn't know any better. And then ask him to show you ten more, and then ten more until you meet him in heaven or in the air, at the trumpet blast.
Just ask in the name of Jesus. Do everything in that name. Praise His Holy Name, the name above all names, the name that brings His presence and makes us His temples, the name that fills the church, the name that begins and ends our covenant contract with Him, our discipleship master, Jesus.
Thanks for visiting. I love you. Where have you been? See you next time. Contact us for your salvation prayer and baptism.
PREACHING HOUR TV
TUESDAY EVENINGS - 8:30PM EST
Preaching Hour TV weekly on Cox PATV Channel 15 in Cheshire, Southington and Meriden CT and on VCAM Channel 15 10pm Fridays in Burlington VT.read more...
Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...