Tag Archives: wisdom

Not What I Expected

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Thank You for a restful night’s sleep Father…and for waking me for our time together. Guide my thoughts both now and throughout the day ahead.

Revelation 1:12-16 (<<click green)

Lord, I’ve read and heard this passage many times in my life but what You look like here has not stuck in my mind. When I picture You, it is not like this. But I cannot box You in. I cannot limit You to my perceptions.

In these verses You, Lord, are the “Son of Man.” My study Bible* expounds on some of the detail. You are in a long robe with a gold sash across [Your] chest.” This “reveals [You] as the High Priest who goes into God’s presence to obtain forgiveness of sin for those who have believed in [You].” Thank You, Lord, for the salvation You extend to me!

Your white hair “indicates [Your] wisdom and divine nature.” Thank You, Lord, for Your all-encompassing wisdom – know all You do, You still love us and embrace us!

Your eyes “like flames of fire” “symbolize judgment of all evil.” This brings to mind Charles Wesley’s hymn, “And Can It Be” and this verse,

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray
I woke the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, when forth, and followed Thee.

Thank You, Lord, for freeing me from the evil that had me bound!

Thank You, Lord, that though You were not what I expected…but You surely are what I needed. Praise Your name!

June 15th, Thurs, 6:48 am

The Best Interest of Others

It was a very full day yesterday, Father, and I thank You for Your watch care and direction. A busy day at work and an evening of inspiration as we received direction in preparation for the next Wycliffe Associates Banquet later in October, lent themselves to a good night’s rest. I am blessed.

James 3:13-18 (<<click here)

O the dichotomy of earthly wisdom and wisdom that we find through You Lord. James states,

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.”

So often earthly wisdom is characterized by “bitter jealousy” and “selfish ambition.”

Lord, it comes down to a mentality of “me” or “others.” Basically, wisdom is the compilation of experience and things we have learned and then applying those things in our lives with good judgment. So do I seek to use the measurement of wisdom I have for my own selfish gain or do I seek to use it humbly – without pride – to benefit others, as well?

The world around me is consumed with looking out for “number one” – no one else is looking out for my best interests so I have to. But what a difference it makes when we seek to look out for the best interest of others. When we do so – people’s lives are changed – sometimes their lives are even saved!

I can’t help but think of the daily news (of which I watch and read very little).  It is so full of evil and pain – but that is what people want to see. But…thankfully people love “Good Samaritan” stories and stories about people sacrificing themselves and their own safety to benefit or save someone else.

Lord, may my life be lived out in giving myself over to help others. Enable me to do “good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.”

Sept. 13th, Tues, 6:39 am

Ask for Wisdom

As I sat here, Father, and read through another prayer in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, I am once again touched. I could never write so eloquently or encompass my thoughts in such a concise manner but if could have I would have. One short line of it speaks volumes.

“There is no comfort in anything apart from enjoying thee and being engaged in thy service…”

I would say, Amen.

James 1:5 (<<click here)

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God…”

I am truly dependent upon You for wisdom, Lord. You have blessed me with experience and knowledge but it is not enough to accomplish tasks at hand if I do not yield myself to You seeking Your wisdom as to how to use what You have given me. Sometimes the difficulty lies in sorting through all the ramblings of my mind, shifting through them, to glean what is the most important or most beneficial for the need of the moment.

Writing sermons is a prime example of this. I have many pieces and parts in my mind, reading Your Word gives me inspiration, combing through commentaries can give my structure but only You can give me the wisdom to bring it all together in such a way that it will speak to those who will listen. Only You can put in those little extra things, of which I may not even be aware, that will speak to specific people in my congregations.

I surely cannot do it without You. For that matter, I can’t do life without You. The quote from today’s prayer is so true!

July 27th, Wed, 6:27 am

Fidelity

Father, the next several days are going to be a challenge. We are so excited that Massey is home for a few days! But because we want to stay up and talk and do things together it makes getting up more of a challenge. My time with You is of the utmost importance to me so I am determined to be here. Please help me to be wise in what I do when awake so that I will sleep well. Help me to be safe in my travels and to do my best at Kohl’s and in getting ready for worship. Thank You for Your active presence in my life.

I don’t know if the tacos from supper were a contributing factor, Lord, but I sure dreamed last night. I know many times You used dreams in the Bible to communicate messages. My dream was surely disturbing and it may just be a wild, taco induced thing in my brain but I do want to use it as means of staying true to You and the ones I love.

It’s disturbing in that it was sexual in nature. It was not sordid and there are no graphic details to pass along. In my dream I was not married but even then it was like I was looking at myself doing and thinking things and feeling mortified because I am married. For the most part the dream was flirtatious in nature and though I was tempted to pursue things best left alone, I did not yield. The only physical contact was I rubbed the young woman’s back. It was in a group setting and that’s all I did but just that simple contact evoked “feelings.” Later she was in the shower and a clear but subtle invitation had been extended to me but I saw nothing and did nothing for I did not yield. I didn’t even go near her location.

Yuck! I don’t even like writing it down but, Lord, I want it to be an anchor point in our relationship that will shore up another extremely important relationship in my life – my marriage!

The world is replete with sexual promiscuity. Our culture’s mentality is to meet our own needs regardless of how it impacts others. And no matter how much our society glamourizes it, it always impacts others – and many times in hurtful, scarring ways.

I am wholly committed to Karen! Jesus, You are very clear on this topic.

“You have heard the commandment that says, “You must not commit adultery! But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

I pray every day for the strength and wisdom to abide by Your words, Lord. I do my best to not even linger on pictures of women I see. I strive to avert my eyes while interacting with the public when on many occasions low cut tops and skin tight bottoms want to lure me in.

Lord, help me! Only in You can I stand strong. I am totally dependent on You to get me through and want nothing else than to be utterly faithful to my wife. Amen – so be it!

Mar 11th, Fri, 5:37 am

Itching Ears

Father, it’s been way too long since I’ve sat down with You and I surely feel it. Thank You for Your presence and watch care over me.

2 Timothy 4:3-5 (<<click here)

Lord, reading through this passage reminds me that there are an abundance of charlatans in the world who claim to be faithful proclaimers of Your truths. Some know exactly what they are doing and are only in it for the power or prosperity it brings them. Others, in their “wisdom” have proclaimed “truths” that are not lined up with Your word. They have followers who like what they hear and encourage the broadcast of falsehood. Often these falsehoods are close to truth, maybe tweaked just enough to make them more appealing. “Itching ears” get scratched, egos get stroked, pockets get filled – it’s a win, win situation…right? Wrong!

By rejecting “sound and wholesome teaching” we are following our “own desires.” We listen to what we “want to hear” and in doing so we “reject the truth” and are doing nothing more than chasing after “myths”. No matter how sincere the proclaimer or the listener may be, it does not make it right. Making Your word say what we want it to say takes it out of the realm of truth and places it in the realm of lies.

Lord, help us to “keep a clear mind in every situation.” We must follow You closely so as not to deviate from the “straight and narrow” path before us. (Matthew 7:14) May we keep You at the forefront.

Dec 31st, Thurs, 8:27 am