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Posts Tagged ‘knowledge’

Wait and See

October 4th, 2017

Patience Is the Posture of Waiting With Hope and Trust.

 “By your patience, possess your souls.” Luke 21:19 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “Wait and See.”

Waiting is not my favorite pastime. I guess I always wanted the benefit of knowing the outcome of things. Many times in my youth, my Mom wisely advised me to, “just wait and see.” With the value of history and hindsight, she understood a simple principle that I did not. There are times when you must just be patient enough to wait and see. Urgently, we think we need to see, but God knows we need to wait and see. Paul explained this interim time in these words, “Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT.

In life, you will experience unforeseen challenges at inconvenient times. Don’t project today’s crisis onto your future. Sometimes you must be willing to wait and see. Successfully navigating such moments requires Godly optimism, with large amounts of patience. Waiting is never our preferred option. None of us enjoy waiting. Without perspective, waiting is challenging and stressful. Impatience is a common emotion in such moments.

There are times when the past as well as the present are less than clearly understood. So why then are we surprised when the future seems a bit obscure? Our impatience produces anxiety about things unforeseen. Life is a tension between what is and what yet will be. As I see it, the problem is that our knowledge is incomplete and our impatience is unsettling. While describing this tension, Paul directed us to hope. “Now we see things imperfectly, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT.

With God’s Word in your thoughts and hope in your heart, you can wait with anticipation and patience. Without hope, dread and anxiety will color your concerns for the unknown future. The Bible offers this insight, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:24-25 NIV. Patience is a virtue. Hope is the foundation upon which patience is developed. In an earlier chapter, Paul wrote of, “this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2 NKJV. Patience is the posture of waiting in hope and trust.

Waiting can and should be used profitably, not squandered in wasted worry. Waiting on God with expectation evidences a confidence so strong in God, and His nature, and Word, that your faith continues to grow even with every apparent delay. Forewarning His disciples of the mistreatment and opposition they would face, Jesus concluded with this encouraging instruction, “By your patience, possess your souls.” Luke 21:19 NKJV. Patience is evidenced by living today with optimism for tomorrow.

But sometimes, you may just feel too weak and weary to struggle on. The Bible has a faith-building word for you. “God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV. Meanwhile, I will stand alongside the Psalmist. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word, I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord, more than those who watch for the morning.” Psalm 130:5 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to choose patience and embrace His peace.

 

Christian Communications 2017

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Godly Wisdom

April 8th, 2016

“The Lord [is] wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.” Isaiah 28:29 NIV.

A volume of knowledge is not as valuable as a portion of wisdom.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “Godly wisdom.”

Life can be complicated, even perplexing. To navigate the myriad of situations and circumstances that will confront you, you need wisdom and discernment. No one of us possesses all the knowledge that life will require. The difference between knowledge and wisdom is significant, but together, wisdom and knowledge produce invaluable understanding. A volume of knowledge is not as valuable as a portion of wisdom. Gain knowledge but store up wisdom. There is one and only One true source of wisdom. James, the apostle, was clear, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 NIV. Why would anyone first look elsewhere? Ask God for His wisdom. I have learned three practical elements of Godly wisdom.

(1) A Word from the Lord. Wisdom begins with God, and is best defined as, “The ability to see your situation from God’s point of view.” Isaiah described God as, “wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.” Isaiah 28:29 NIV. Pause and reflect on that description of our God, “magnificent in wisdom.” God will always have a word of guidance for you. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7-8 NIV. When life requires wisdom and direction, turn first to Scripture and prayer. “The Scriptures are able to make you wise . . given by inspiration of God, and is profitable . . that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17 NKJV.

Look for Godly principles that provide insight and wisdom that applies to your situation. Wisdom is found in personal application of Godly principles. Normally, a Word from the Lord is recognized through your earlier discipline to know and love His voice through a lifestyle of prayer and regular and respectful attention to His Word. The more comfortable you are with the Scriptures, the more readily you will hear and understand God’s voice. But often there are two additional components to receiving and clarifying Godly wisdom.

(2) Objective counsel. Life is not a solo journey; there are times you will need input and wisdom from others. Our inevitable subjectivity benefits from the balance of others to best discern what God is saying. Confidence in another’s counsel rests upon a proven history of relationship and trust. Be discerning. Others can reassure, redirect, clarify, or caution you as a counter balance to the foolishness or fears in your own heart. Godly wisdom is easily recognized when you know what to look for. “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17 NIV. Wisdom may come through others but comes from God.

(3) Subjective perspective. I was taught that, “Those who fail to learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them.” God can and will speak to you. Your perspective is unique in the process of your discovery of Godly wisdom for your present circumstance. Apply yourself to learning from life; be attentive and observant; learn from yours and others’ mistakes.

Today, I pray for you to seek God’s wisdom and discern His will and ways.

EDL wisdom verse graphic

Christian Communications 2016

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Image and Identity

October 6th, 2015

“You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.” Mark 1:11 NIV.

Inner tension results when the image you project is not the identity you possess.

My thoughts and comments continue today about, “image and identity”

People often confuse image and identity; they may seem similar but are distinctly different. The first is an inadequate imitation of the latter. Image is what you project to others, what you prefer others believe about you. Identity is who and what you really are. Emotional and spiritual tension results when the image you project is not the identity you possess. Any disconnect between image and identity creates confusion and dissimulation.

It is significant that at Jesus’ baptism before His public ministry began, the Father affirmed Jesus’ eternal identity. An audible voice from Heaven was heard, “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.” Mark 1:9-11 NIV. Imagine the strength of the Father’s testimony when others would later dispute His identity and deny His authority.

Image confines you to less than you are; identity frees you to be all God intends. Sin and self conspire to substitute image for identity. They are not interchangeable to God. Jesus evidenced the freedom of identity and humility when He washed the feet of the disciples. John 13:1-17 NKJV. In four statements, John defines Jesus’ identity and the secret of His humility.

(1) Sure Knowledge. “Jesus knowing . .” Jesus had unshakable conviction of unchanging truth. When you know Who God is, you believe what God says.

(2) Sufficient Resource. “. . knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands,” When you do God’s will, you will have all you need to succeed.

(3) Sacred Origin. “. . knowing that He had come from God,” When you know where you came from, you can always find your way home.

(4) Secure Destiny. “. . knowing He was going to God.” Your destiny in Christ is irrevocable. Read John 14:1-3 NIV. When your future is sure you are freed to live life fully now.

As was the Jewish custom, a basin of water and towel were at the door when the disciples gathered for the Passover. Apparently, not one of them considered the basin and towel were there for their use. As Jesus began washing the disciples’ feet, Peter remonstrated against Jesus washing his feet. Was his refusal from pride or shame? Peter, like the others, never thought to wash the Messiah’s feet, let alone the feet of his fellow disciples.

Peter’s image of himself and his image of Jesus were radically less than the identity out of which Jesus ministered. “Jesus rose from supper and laid aside His garments, and took a towel and girded Himself . . to wash the Disciples’ feet.” Read Philippians 2:2-11 NIV. Humility is the byproduct of a Godly identity. Solomon’s wise counsel is this, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV.

Today, I pray that you will not settle for anything less than God created you to be.

Divine Servant , Max Greiner Jr Designs (c)

“Divine Servant”

Max Greiner, Jr. Designs (c)

Christian Communications

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Life Without Regrets

January 8th, 2014

“If he had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched.” Matthew 24:43 NKJV.

God knows you do not know everything but He knows all that you do not.

My thoughts and comments today are about “life without regrets.”

There may be no more plaintive sigh than, “If I had only known . . There have been things I have said or done which I would have done differently, if I had only known their effect on myself and others. There have been decisions I made that I might have chosen differently – more carefully, more wisely – if I had only known then what I know now I would have fewer things to regret.

The things that you will most regret are the times you knew better but didn’t choose more wisely, unlike the times that you did your best in matters where you could not have known better. You must learn from both of those, and then commit the past confidently to God’s grace. Jesus warned, “If the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.” Matthew 24:43 NKJV.

But is it possible for anyone to ever know all that they will need to know? Not really. That’s why God has given you His Word, and the indwelling Holy Spirit who will “guide you into all truth.” John 16:13 NIV. There is much unknown to you, but not unknowable to God. God has made provision for you in the many decisions of everyday life. He has given you life experiences and the lessons to be learned from them, an intellect to reason and analyze, a capacity for learning, parents and people to warn and teach you, and His Truth to instruct you. God wants you to live without regrets.

And when all of those are not quite enough, God Himself is there. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should pray to God, who will give it to him; because God gives generously and graciously to all.But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind.” James 1:5-6 TEV. God knows you do not know everything but He knows all that you do not.

“Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT. There is no argument there; “We see things imperfectly . . all I know now is partial and incomplete.”

Usually a person frets and worries over what they do not know without living confidently in the truth of God’s Word which you can know, and in the knowledge and wisdom gained in life experience, though incomplete for now. I think the simple answer for everyday life may be to live the best you can, true to what you know even though it is partial, always asking and seeking for the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding that God alone possesses and faithfully supplies.

Jesus taught that if you know the thief is coming but just do not know when, you are wise to be always watchful, prepared, and on guard. It has been wrongly said that what you don’t know can’t hurt you; obviously, that is not always true. Sometimes that can hurt you badly, unless you live wisely in the practical truth of what you do know.

My prayer for you today is that you will love knowledge and be true to the truth.

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Listen and Learn

July 29th, 2013

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning.”  Proverbs 1:5 NIV

Listening is a requisite entrance to learning, and learning is a life-long practice.

My thoughts and comments today advise, “listen and learn.”

I am blessed with a patient wife. Her steadfast love and enduring patience toward me may be the major contributing factor to our celebrating our fiftieth anniversary later this week. Her challenge seems to be the brief but inevitable gap between the first words she speaks and the first words to which I listen. She must grow weary of repeating herself. My problem is not a hearing disability; the likely difficulty is my listening deficiency. My guess is that I am not the only one so afflicted. “Can I hear an amen?”

Why do people find something as simple as listening such a challenge? Too many conversations could be described as, “Two people more interested in talking than either is in listening.” As a young boy, I remember my father asking, “Allen, do you know why God gave you two ears but only one mouth?” I momentarily pondered his words to pose an answer, only then realizing his question was rhetorical. “It’s so you will learn to listen twice as much as you talk.” I probably am still learning that application.

Solomon offered simple, practical counsel; “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance for understanding . . the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Read Proverbs 1:1-7 NIV. The principle is equally applicable naturally and spiritually, but his focus is on attentiveness to matters of spiritual discipline and development: “. . for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and direction to the young . .” Verse 2-4 NIV. Any and all of those could be invaluable to your everyday life.

According to Solomon, listening is the practice of the wise and increased learning is their reward. Two things are true: (1) Listening is a requisite entrance to learning, and (2) Learning is a life-long practice. If you listen to the wise, you will learn; if you learn from the wise, you will become wiser. “For whoever finds [wisdom] finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 8:33-35 NIV. I love this verse, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. A wise man has great power and a man of knowledge increases strength.” Proverbs 24:3-5 NIV. I want your life and mine to be “filled with rare and beautiful treasures” of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and strength.

When you aren’t listening, you aren’t learning; when you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing; when you aren’t growing, you aren’t wise. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25 NIV.

My prayer for you this day is that you listen for God in your heart and learn His wisdom.

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