Wisdom Continues To Speak!

Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun. Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it. Ecclesiastes 7:11,12 NIV

If any lacks wisdom, let them ask of God who gives it liberally and will not find fault with those who ask. (James 1:5 paraphrased). If God will give us wisdom when we ask for it, why don’t we ask Him, instead of trying to impress others with wisdom, we don’t have.

Wisdom thinks before acting.

Wisdom is calm and rational.

Wisdom seeks increase in understanding.

Wisdom pays no attention to rumors and will not encourage negative responses to anything.

Wisdom contemplates every matter before making a decision.

Wisdom rises above the fray of adversity in the hands of the foolish.

Wisdom obeys authority and as a result is an authority of all who seek her.

Wisdom speaks truth at all times, even when truth hurts.

Wisdom admires wisdom in others who know God, stays far from the foolish who think they know more than God.

Wisdom resolves problems and does not cause them.

If wisdom is an inheritance, then we must resolve to gain more wisdom and the only true wisdom comes from God. For if we leave an inheritance of wisdom in our children, they will the capability of making wise decisions, after gathering all the information they need in order to make the decision. If we leave wisdom as an inheritance for our children, they will be empowered to keep wisdom flowing from generation to generation.

But if we have not wisdom to exercise in all things, what are leaving as an inheritance for those we leave behind? Money, by itself is not the answer for we know fools and their money are soon parted–they spend it as fast as they get it. Money can be taken or lost and the Word tells us that “the love” of money–the desire to obtain it by any means–is the root of all evil.

But wisdom–once obtained–belongs to the one who has obtained it and it can never be taken or lost. For true wisdom is the ability to seek knowledge and understanding of what the knowledge is.

I am a consummate researcher. Anything I desire to know, I research and then I research more to gain a better understanding of what it is I have researched. This is a constant cycle for we–none of us–will ever know all there is to know. We just keep learning (as wisdom dictates) and I look forward to learning something new–every day.

If we scorn wisdom and getting understanding of knowledge, we defeat ourselves and the enemy wins. “Wisdom is the principle thing and with all of our getting, we must get understanding.”

If we are willing to hear and obey, wisdom will continue to speak to our hearts.

 

When We Fail, Who Do We Blame?

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:18, 20,21 NIV)

The Word provides us with much insight about wisdom and pride. Not only through the proverbs, but through James who says, “If any lack wisdom, ask of God who gives liberally and won’t upbraid (find fault with) us for asking” (James 1:5 paraphrased) It would appear from this simple statement that James understood all that was said about wisdom through the insight given to Solomon and other sages.

Wisdom is referenced as a  female in several places, but the female reference is also used to warn against adultery and other folly.

A wise person receives correction and instruction from wise counsel. Only a fool rebels against correction and instruction.

But who is wiser than God? No, not one human being is wiser than God. God gave Solomon wisdom and Solomon shared what God had given him, but he never assumed he was wiser than God.

Proverbs 4:5-9 NIV

vs. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.

vs. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.

vs. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: “Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

vs. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.

vs. 9 She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”

When we ask God for wisdom–insight to solving problems and addressing issues, we must not only hear what He says, but know how to apply what He says. For instance, we can obtain information and not know what to do with it and if we don’t know what to do with the information we have, what good is it?

If we establish guidelines and protocols to ensure order in all that we do, yet we do not follow the protocol and chaos erupts, what was the point of establishing the guidelines in the beginning?

Many motivational speakers, successful corporations–large and small–understand that without a sound plan and adherence to the plan–success is not possible.

Jesus tells us in another passage of scripture that,”a wise person considers the cost of building anything before they start to build.”(Luke 14:28 paraphrased).

On the flip side of exercising wisdom is the conduct of a fool who allows his pride to rule. And there is much said about fools in Proverbs,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV),

“The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Proverbs 15:2 NIV)

“The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.” (Proverbs 15:7 NIV)

“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18 NIV)

What I’m taking from all that is said about wisdom, knowledge and fools, is that if we don’t know God or know how to seek Him when making decisions, we set ourselves for failure because we allow our pride to keep us from seeking Him.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22 NIV)

Herein is the heart of the matter. When we think that our plans can succeed without wise counsel or consideration of all involved in the planning, our plans are doomed to failure. Though they may appear to succeed for a moment; the final outcome tells the whole story.

The difference between success and failure of any entity or individual lies in the ability one has to set aside pride (the “I” mentality) and to seek wisdom from wise counsel. If we do not think we need to heed wise counsel and instruction, then our failure is our own and we must look within to determine how we change the course of events.

Are we wise enough to seek God today for every decision we make or will we allow our pride to cause us to fail? We are the only ones who can make that decision for God does not make anyone do anything.

I pray God’s wisdom will overflow into your hearts today and pride will never be the reason for failure in any area of your lives.

Wisdom and Insight!

“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16 NIV)

We are witnessing the effects of greed in people who are only concerned with amassing riches. What they have forgotten is that none of the riches can be taken with us into eternity, it will all be left for others to fight over or enjoy or rot as time passes.

But wisdom–especially wisdom from on high–creates paths for us not only to get wealth, but distribute it in a manner that will benefit many. With the wisdom that God gives, we can have overflow, abundant wealth that cannot be measured by man’s standards, but will be so much greater than most can imagine. How is that possible?

We know from paying attention to the lives of those who have won money in lotteries. Many spent money without exercising wisdom and even though they had millions, they were soon reduced to poverty. Some became arrogant and boastful and were killed by those who wanted what they had. Now, here’s an amazing insight! People will kill for money and end up in jail, but few ever seek wisdom from anyone and certainly not God.

I’d rather have wisdom and insight for the rest of my life than the gold and silver for a moment. Exercising wisdom in all things will keep our needs met and we’ll have more than enough to share with others. We don’t need to be richer than King Tut–we need the wisdom that God gave Solomon so we will always have what we need.

During times of prayer, meditation, or quietness today--seek wisdom and insight in how to move forward and thank God for all He’s doing and watch Him bring it all to pass. He loves us so much that He died for us and when remember His love, daily, we are able to love others in spite of themselves, because He loves us, in spite of us.

Wisdom Lord, give us wisdom above anything we could ever imagine, shield our minds from anything the enemy would whisper to us, and help us to stay focused on all You would have us to do.

Purpose of Proverbs

“Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance” (Proverbs 1:5 NLT).

A “proverb” by definition is a popular saying (some say of unknown origin) that expresses a common place truth or useful thought (online dictionary). King Solomon is credited with most of the proverbs included in the Bible and we can say (those who Believe The Word) that Solomon was a very wise man. Of course, the wisdom he gained, he received from God and through experience. Experience–is a very wise teacher for those who are able to discern such.

When we look at this one–that supports listening to proverbs–we see that if “we think” we are wise, we can become ever wiser when we pay attention. For those who understand the importance of listening to those who learned by experience so they won’t have to “repeat” the stumbling to learn, the proverbs are designed to guide us.

I’ve often said–of my mother who died at age 58–that I wish she had lived longer to prepare me for the challenges of aging. My grandmother died before she turned 68 and had no real insight to offer us since she had her own challenges to handle. At this point in my life, I plan to live until I’m 95 and I have no problem telling anyone who listens about the challenges I’ve faced so far. Listen and learn if you plan to live as long as God determines.

1) Don’t squander your money when you’re young. You’ll live to regret it.

2) Don’t think youthful, foolish behavior is acceptable past the age of 20. It is not. Learn from living if you want others to respect you as an adult.

3) Seek The Lord in all things by getting acquainted with His Word and developing a relationship with Him early in life. The earlier you hear Him speak, the sooner you benefit from His goodness.

4) Retirement should be uppermost in your mind when you start working. Don’t take that job for granted and save as much as you can to provide for yourself as you age.

5) When you have parents who know God and have experienced His goodness–listen to them. It will save you a lot of headaches later in life.

6) Take care of your body–you only have one and you need all of your body parts to live a productive life–keep your lungs healthy, your heart pumping and your blood flowing–unrestrained by toxins and fat. Keep brain cells functioning with clarity and not fogged by smoking (anything), drugs and misuse of alcohol. You’ll have healthier children.

7) Don’t ignore the warnings of those who have gone before you–most of them know what they’re talking about because of their own experience.

Of course, this is just a handful of things I’ve learned in my life, but when I have any questions and need direction, I seek God for the answers because life is too short to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I’d like to think that I’m wise enough to listen and receive direction–from Wisdom.

Find Wisdom–Find Happiness!

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.” Proverbs 3:13-15 NKJV)

Many people are seeking a superficial happiness through–the things they amass–rather than in knowing that those things offer only a temporary appeasement, lasting only as long as they last or through people–who are so fickle they are always changing their minds. True happiness–that lasts–is in seeking and finding wisdom from God.

Wisdom, once obtained, can never be taken and God lets us know that when we gain understanding–knowing what to do with the wisdom He gives, we will discover that nothing compares to the wisdom He gives.

Solomon–the wisest man who ever lived–did not ask God for things–for riches, or gold, or silver, or lands–He asked God for wisdom and with the wisdom he obtained, he gained understanding in how to manage the riches that were given because he did not ask for them. God knows what we need!

Finding a job or a better paying job won’t bring us true happiness, which is why people are always complaining about the jobs they have. No matter how much they make, it is never enough–there is always a plea for more.

Here’s a plan–instead of asking or seeking God for more–tangible things–let’s seek wisdom and knowledge in how to manage what we have and gain understanding from exercising wisdom so that we never have to ask for things.

I am convinced that some of us will never have all that God desires for us to have because we have not mastered being a good steward over that we already have. Help us, Lord! We want–to squander–which is why we don’t have what we want. It is never too late to learn the lesson of sound financial management, planning, and saving. I’m a late bloomer–in understanding financial wisdom, but I’m willing to backtrack and learn to the extent that I can. Giving of our resources is a good thing, but saving is equally important. Even though my grandson is only 13 years-old, I’m teaching him now to save half of everything he gets from monetary gifts, chores, etc. It is never too early to learn and never too late–unless we are dead or have nothing to manage.

What we have to remember is that God can take a little–bless it–and multiply it beyond our expectations--when we exercise the wisdom, He freely gives. I’d rather have His wisdom poured out upon me than all the riches in the land because I can use the wisdom to obtain the riches!

When Wisdom Speaks, We Should Listen!

“Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square.But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:20,33)

From verse 21-thru verse 32–we see the results of what happens when we will not listen to Wisdom. Solomon–who is considered the wisest man who ever lived, by God–chooses to reference Wisdom with the pronoun–she–indicating a female gender. Perhaps, it is because of the all the females he had in his life–700 wives and 300 concubines–that he has finally seen the light and the lessons he learns from his associations with these women (out of disobedience).

We all learn lessons when we disobey–any of the rules, policies, laws established.  When we ignore posted speed limits and get a ticket–we should learn to pay attention adhere to the speed limit. When we disregard policies established on jobs and get fire–we should pay attention at the next job. When we text while driving and cause accidents–if we’re not killed–we should learn a lesson and if we are, those around us should learn a lesson and not attempt to text and drive. There are always consequences for our actions and we are the only ones who can determine what consequence we’ll face–whether positive or negative–by what we do.

When are we going to heed Wisdom’s sound advice? When are we going to pay attention to God’s Word and His messengers–who speak loudly and boldly from public venues, on social mediums, and everywhere we find a forum? The consequence for not listening is found in the verses –not listed–but important. We can move into a place where our blatant disregard of God’s Word and His messengers puts us in position to “not be heard when we cry unto The Lord” to save us from our calamities. We will seek Him and won’t find Him. We will call out to Him in pain and anguish because of all the horrible things happening around us and He will not respond. Are we there yet?

We cannot continue to scorn God’s Word or His messengers who try to remind us that we must obey Him rather than man; we must seek Him for wisdom and wise counsel, rather than man. We must determine within ourselves that we will do all He has required us do–in order for mankind to be saved. Are we ready yet?

When Wisdom speaks–those who speak God’s Word and it aligns with His Word, we should listen so He will listen to us and respond to our cries–of repentance and save us, now!

Richly Blessed!

“The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22 NLT).

Contemplate, if you will, the difference between His blessing and the blessings that we often discuss.

In this proverb, the blessing of the Lord is singular, not plural, which can lead one to think there is only one blessing. The blessing–is God’s love towards us–it–the love makes a person rich and He adds nothing to that which will make us sad. The blessings–plural–are those promises we receive from obedience to His Word. They are richly described in Deuteronomy 28:2-14.

What can anyone do when they know they are loved? Just about anything. Love (not lust) moves a person forward, seeking to please others and more specifically God. Love teaches instead of criticizes; love encourages instead of discourages. Love lets go of past hurts and makes room for present joy. Love energizes, not drains. Love motivates, not denigrates. How rich is a person who is loved? Being loved and knowing it is better than having all the riches of the land because many of those with the material wealth–do not understand or have love. This love–is the love that we receive from God and pour onto others–just because Love blesses!

If we are having problems in our lives and cannot seem to have peace in our spirits–maybe we should check our love levels and if the love is depleted, we can always go back to the never-ending fountain of Love for more.

Instead of chasing material riches, we should diligently pursue obtaining and sharing love.

Instead of being concerned with  what others think about us, we should earnestly consider what God thinks about us.

Instead of trying to become something that God never intended for us to be, we should seek His wisdom and guidance in all things and become what He wants us to be.

There is no poverty–or poverty-mindedness in those who have received the BLESSING of the Lord for they are rich beyond measure and seek to do always those things that please God.

For Long Life!

“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee” (Proverbs 3:1,2).

There is a reason why we should keep God’s commandments–long life, peace and prosperity (NIV).

Even though some will usually think of the “ten commandments” as given to Moses, Jesus summarized the ten into two. The first five address our relationship with God and authority and the other five address our relationships with each other. Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind; love our neighbors as ourselves (paraphrased).

What really brings this passage of scripture to life is remembering to “honor mother and father so our days will be long upon the earth” and looking at our society; we see what happens when parents/authority are not honored and respected–where there is no love, there is no respect.

Many people can enumerate the problems that plague our society with the attitudes of young people, but in our observations we are hesitant to place blame where it rightfully belongs–on the shoulders of parents who have not been responsible parents. Responsible parents teach children right from wrong and model that behavior in front of their children. If parents are not doing what they say, they are saying without power and certainly the children won’t obey. This is not to say that all the ills of society are the responsibility of parents because some children–when they reach a certain age–ignore all their training and do what they want to do, “when they reach that certain age.”

For any child (regardless of age) living under a roof with parents and their parents are their primary source of support, the rule of parents should reign (especially for Godly households). No child living with parents should ever be allowed to just do whatever they want whenever they want. When they do–we see the results of their lives on the news–“teenagers killed in the midst of a home invasion,” “drug wars claim the lives of teens over territory dispute,” “bodies of parents found in the home where teens lived and were angry at parents who wouldn’t let them use their credit cards,” and the list of insanity could go on and on.

The bottom line is this–when we love and respect authority and others–we are assured of long life, peace, and the opportunity to prosper while we live. Parents need to be parents, not friends and children need to respect and obey. Are we not children of the Most High? Then we should obey Our Father in all things and live long lives in peace and prosperity.

 

The Lord Gives!

“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6 NIV).

No matter how smart or intelligent some people may think they are, without the wisdom the Lord gives, a person really has nothing. As Solomon points out in this verse of scripture, when the Lord gives wisdom–a person obtains knowledge and understanding.

If a person is given a Mercedes Benz–handed the keys to the car–but they do not know how to drive, what purpose does the gift serve? In order for the gift to benefit the receiver, the person receiving the gift must have understanding about what to do with it.

When students read–all of their assignments–and yet are unable to comprehend what they have read, what do they have? Most students can identify words, but are incapable of understanding what the words mean within various contexts used.

Having knowledge–of words in simple contexts–is what has hindered many from truly understanding what God’s Word means–not just what it says, but what He means. Most of the problems have risen due to the fact that many attempt to attach a literal meaning to every word; not realizing that a great deal of what is say, is analogous, or at the very least–figuratively used.

For instance (not seeking argument, just introspection of words), many would argue that Cain was a firstborn child and that he and Able were the first children produced by man. What people have failed to understand is that “they were the first children after the fall,” before the fall, Adam and Eve were obedient in “multiplying” as God had commanded. If people understood the context and had inference skills, they would know that when Cain left the presence of God after killing Abel and took a wife in another town, there would have to be people in another place for it to be called a “town.” We would also know that there is no specific timeline involved with the events in the garden and one can only surmise that Adam and Eve were in the garden for many years before they were disobedient.

This is just one of many concepts in “Genesis” (the record of firsts or beginnings) that have misled a number of people and hindered their understanding of the bible. If when we read The Word, seek God for understanding, then He would provide it and we would have the wisdom of God operating in our lives. What He gives–His wisdom–cannot be measured with the head knowledge that some espouse, but has to be measured with the heart and the relationship one has with Him.

 

Father, in the name of Jesus, pour out Your wisdom upon all who are willing to receive so we might truly operate in the wisdom You give. Your wisdom–You give freely to all who ask–provides insight into all problems and lead to solutions which bring peace. Help us to walk in Your wisdom.

 

When Knowledge is Hated!

“Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD” (Proverbs 1:28,29 NIV).

How many people look back at their lives and reflect upon what happened to them when they were in school–elementary, middle school, high school, or college?

During my five-year tenure in jail ministry, most of the inmates admitted they wish they had paid attention to their teachers. They finally realized that not having sufficient knowledge on an academic level hindered their progress in society as adults, but they also realized that not listening to authority could only end in disaster. A number of the inmates witnessed their friends being shot or killed during the commission of a crime. They attended far too many funerals of those they had grown up with during their early years. Since my assignment for the jail ministry was the psychiatric ward, many had difficulties sorting out reality and understanding rational thinking. When faced with the inevitability of their actions, they were finally able to conclude that most of their problems stemmed from  the “hating knowledge” that either teachers had tried to impart or from others in authority.

When children rebel against parents because they don’t know think their parents know anything, discovery is soon made about the consequences of rebellion and it is usually not a pretty sight.

When those whom God loves choose to ignore Him and rebel against Him, the consequences  can be severe enough to sever a right relationship with Him, forever.

Hating knowledge and ignoring the wisdom of those in authority can only lead to paths of destruction, and some people never find the path back to right relationship.

The admonition Solomon gave to his son is still relevant today–if we continue to hate knowledge, wisdom will show us how God responds–when He’s not responding to us, or hearing us. Even when we look for Him, we will not find Him. A severed relationship with God can only lead to disaster which is why we must revere The Word of God and honor Him in all that we do.

Parents and other adults in authority should heed The Word of God in all their teachings to their children. Children should pay attention to the voices of authority in their lives and learn from the wisdom exhibited from God. Everyone should embrace wisdom and knowledge as God’s inherent love for us and His desire for us to succeed in life.

Remember, the reverential fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom and we should heed wisdom’s call in all things, learning as we go, accepting the fact that all knowledge from God is good.