“But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.” Job 28: 12-13
Man understands on his level. His wisdom is his own. Many well-intentioned people will offer you guidance and wisdom during your trials and tribulations. Although they mean well, their understanding is limited. Much like the advice offered to the suffering Job by his friends Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu, human wisdom cannot provide complete answers or comfort. Only God is able to provide us with the endurance, strength, discernment, and peace needed to persevere through life’s inevitable troubles. We don’t have to always reject a sincere friend’s guidance, but the only truth we should accept is God’s. Turn to Him now.
May the Lord be with you.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1: 9-11
Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi is a prayer we should have for all believers- to be united in the love that comes from having a greater knowledge of Christ and deeper insight – or discernment – so we can differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial. Broaden your circle of influence by praying for others today.
May God continue to bless you.
“For wisdom will enter your heart,and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Proverbs 2:10-11
The June 21, 2010 Our Daily Bread devotional centers on wisdom and discernment. The suggested reading for the devotional is Proverbs 2: 6-20. This chapter in Proverbs exhorts us to pray for and develop wisdom and discernment in our lives. After reading the selection in my Life Application Study Bible, I reviewed the notes that clarify certain verses. In the notes for vv 16-17, the Life Application Bible defines what an adulteress is and explains that two of the most difficult sins to overcome is pride and sexual immorality.
One sentence in the clarifying notes on these verses, stood out to me: Pride appeals to the empty head; sexual enticement to the empty heart. The statement about pride convicted me. One definition of pride is a a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit or superiority whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. In one of my previous postings, I shared my current employment situation. Despite management’s attempts to make me comfortable and include me in decision-making, I have held on to the feeling that they are doing so with ulterior motives. I have been feeling that I deserve more for the time I have given them these past years. I have been distrusting because of my past experiences with corporate takeovers and layoffs. I have written and re-written my resignation letter. Long story short, I have been making myself miserable. My position may very well end; but being bitter won’t change it. In fact, my bitterness and pride may very well be keeping me from my blessings. I need to stop leaning to my own understanding and pray for wisdom and discernment. And stop being so empty-headed!
Is there an area of your life where you, too, are being empty-headed? Take a moment to pray over your situation. Our understanding is limited, God’s vision is everlasting. Don’t let your pride keep you from God’s blessings.
May the Lord continue to watch over you and keep you.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6
Very few people access the Internet to read Christian devotionals. Most people, when given the choice between the Word or gossip, would choose gossip as the way to start the day. Just as if given the choice to read the Bible or watch Internet pornography, most would choose pornography. Most people think the Bible is too judgmental and has too many antiquated rules. Some feel it is merely a collection of ancient folktales that have no bearing on today’s society.
We, who study the Word and meditate on it, know this is not true. Our love of God and our knowledge of his precepts propels us to share what we know with others. In doing this, we often engage in conversations with non-believers. While we should spread the Word, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to stay in situations that may jeopardize our belief. The non-believer will attempt to poke holes in every statement we make. If we converse with them long enough, we may find ourselves questioning why we believe. In these instances, I am often reminded of the mustard seed. If faith the size of a mustard seed is all that is needed to move a mountain (Matthew 17:20), then doubt the size of a mustard seed may be enough to destroy all the Lord has built inside us. No, we should follow the Lord’s instruction when encountering others who reject the Word: “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town” Matthew 10:14. Shaking the dust from your sandals represents separating yourself from those who steadfastly reject Christ.
Because of free will, we cannot make non-believers accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Let’s pray for wisdom and discernment to know what to teach and to whom so that we do not become weary in our walk.
May the Lord be with you today.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’. 1 Samuel 16:7
Who among us has not felt convicted by this verse at some time or another? For me, it is usually after averting my eyes from that homeless man or woman on the street. When shaking my head “no” from inside my car as they panhandle at traffic lights. Sometimes, it’s when I cross the street or take a different direction to keep from passing a person who just doesn’t look right. You see, I have been conned by people posing as homeless and physically threatened by mentally unstable people while walking to the parking garage from work. So, I’m leery but I do tend to go against instinct and let my guard down. I’ll still offer money and a blessing to the men and women holding signs on the street corners. I’ll push aside past experiences and walk by that person on the street.
When reading the verses leading to 1 Sm 16:7, you will discover the context in which the Lord spoke these words to Samuel. Samuel was sent to Jesse to appoint one his sons king. Samuel saw Eliab’s impressive appearance and thought surely he was the anointed one. Thankfully, the Lord guided Samuel. For it is from the lineage of David that Jesus was born.
Like many, I have no problem with guarding myself against individuals who appear unsavory. But how many times have I been pleased by the outward appearance only to be hurt when the true nature, or heart, shows through? Often, we see people for what we want them to be, not for who they actually are. God doesn’t have these limitations. He sees the heart and knows the person’s strengths, weaknesses and intentions. Before rejecting someone God has placed in your life, pray for discernment. Outwardly, he or she may not be what you expected, but his or her heart may be everything you need.