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(23-1) Introduction

Saying that you trust Him is one thing, showing it is quite something else. So I ask you again, do you trust God? I commit to trusting You with all my heart and with all my ways. I am tired of walking down the path that seems right. Part II. I will be back on track tomorrow. I made it back home yesterday after spending about two weeks in the Middle East. As I looked out the window on my last of five flights I saw something I had never seen. I looked across a deep-blue sky, seemingly painted with fluffy white clouds, and I looked down at beautiful snow-capped mountains, expansive lakes, flowing rivers, and stretching valleys.

I am not sure where we were. Judging by the time remaining on the flight I believe we were either over Montana or Idaho, but wherever we were it was awesome. As I looked out I thanked God for His creation. As I looked out at both the sky and the earth I saw the glory of God. As I sat there, on the plane, giving God glory for His handiwork, I realized that I did not have a care in the world. I had been on five flights in two days flying over many countries and at no point was I afraid. Honestly, fear is not a factor in my life.

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When you truly trust God it creates an atmosphere that shields you from doubt and fear. He said that:. To sum up what Adam Clarke said I would say that when we have a solid and secure relationship with God and we sincerely believe the promises in His Word, then we will trust Him to bring to pass the manifestation of those promises in our lives. This trust keeps us from fear, doubt, and unbelief. When we trust God with our whole heart we are able to live enjoyable, fulfilling, fun, and carefree lives.

Trusting God keeps us from allowing fear to rob us from once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, joy-filled experiences, and in my case, breath-taking views. It means that when you truly God you are able to have and enjoy the life God wants you to have. Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life, to the full, until it overflows John So trust God, believe His promises, and enjoy the life He wants you to live! Jesus died so that I could have and enjoy abundant life, and I declare that I will. I trust You with my whole heart and I am able to enjoy every opportunity, every experience, and every breath-taking view.

Thank You Daddy, for blessing me to enjoy life! To get the full weight of what he is saying I want you to read this latter portion from a few other translations. Solomon understood this and he only experienced a portion of what Born-Again have available to them. The Spirit of God came upon Solomon and others in the Old Testament, but they did not have a permanent indwelling. Paul explains this well in his first letter to the church at Corinth. But Paul did not stop there. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God… no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. Praise God! Paul then goes on to say something that brings us back to our focus text in Proverbs. Our intellect, reason, and logic cannot make sense of Spiritual things. Oftentimes Spiritual things are diametrically opposed to our intellect, reason, and logic.

See, man, left alone, attempts to make sense of everything, because men are sensual beings. We filter information through our senses. But God is Spiritual, not sensual. God can provide us revelation that far exceeds mere information. He can give us more insight in a minute than we could ever receive otherwise. Your Spirit lives in me and He makes Your wisdom available to me. I no longer have to live my life by mere intellect, reason, logic, or senses; I can live my life by Your wisdom, insight, revelation, and truth.

I would be a fool to attempt to live my life on my ability alone. I am not a fool. I seek Your leading, guiding, and directing. Teach me Lord, I am ready to follow! These two scriptures helped me immensely as I sought to navigate my way through my baby steps with God. Does that mean in everything — even small things? What does it mean to acknowledge God? And how I am supposed to do it in everything? Even if I did not know what it meant completely, what I did know, without anyone having to tell me, was that I was no longer supposed to live my life on my own.

I knew, very early, that I needed to involve God in every area and aspect of my life. I was in Kuwait, on a hardship tour of duty, away from my family for a year, and I often felt lonely. But when I gave my life to Christ I knew that my lonely days were over. Even if was alone I was not alone and that reality — the reality of His presence — changed everything!

#107: Constantine’s vision

It means taking the time to judge your decisions by His instruction. It means allowing His Word to be the ruler by which you judge your actions. It means being aware of His presence in your life, every moment of every day. No, God does not just want to be the Lord of your Sundays. He wants to be the Lord of your life. Either He is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all! From the time you get up in the morning, to the time you lay your head on the pillow, it means that you are cognizant of your relationship with Him and you make every effort to align your life with His instruction His Word.

Earnestly pray for his direction at the commencement; look for his continual support in the progress; and so begin and continue that all may terminate in his glory… Self-sufficiency and self-dependence have been the ruin of mankind ever since the fall of Adam. The grand sin of the human race is their continual endeavor to live independently of God.

What an awesome reminder for us NOT to do what Adam did in the garden. He knew what God said. He knew that what he was doing was wrong. He was fully aware of his actions, but he failed to acknowledge God in what he was doing. What was the result? He got kicked out of the garden. He started a chain of events that still has ramifications today.

And it all happened, because he failed to acknowledge God in ALL of his ways. You need God, so take the time to acknowledge Him in everything you do. It means that the God that created the universe takes the time to think about you and it means that you, the creation, should take the time to acknowledge the creator. So start today. Take the time to acknowledge God in your decisions and you will never be the same! Of all the things that You could be doing, You actually care about ME and that reality makes me want to acknowledge you in every decision I make.

I may stumble along the way, I may make my portion of mistakes, but I will attempt to acknowledge You in every area and aspect of my life. By faith, I will allow You to help me to make the right decisions today! You and I both know how excited we can get when we have plans for something. It can be something as major as a starting a business or something as small as what you want to do on Saturday. Our attitude must be one of flexibility and willingness to adjust our plans and desires if we are interrupted by God.

A small example of this is when I was about to get on one of the five flights that I took to get back home from the middle east this past week. Before I take any trip I pray over the planes, the pilots, and the staffs. I decree a blessing over every plane that I get on and I command angels to keep us during the flight. Another thing that I pray for is where I am going to sit.

I like to sleep or relax on flights, but I also know that God has used me many times to minister to people during a flight. So, although I normally pray for favor with the airline staff for either an upgrade or an exit row isle seat, I also pray that God would allow me to sit wherever He needs me to sit to be a blessing on the plane. Now, this has meant that sometimes I have had to fly in a middle seat, sometimes next to uncomfortable people, but I was where God needed me to be, doing what He needed me to do. The point is that on those occasions where I knew another seat was available, but I sensed that God wanted me to take the uncomfortable seat, I did not fight against it.

I was willing to accept a few hours of discomfort if it meant being able to reach someone for God.

Notes and Commentary on Jeremiah 1–19

That may seem minor to some, but believe me, it is not minor to God. Acknowledging Him in all your ways means making adjustments — small and big. January seems like it was so long ago. My family and I entered this year with the knowledge that the military had placed us on orders to move to Washington State.

So we prayed fervently for God to change the orders. A couple of months into it I received a Word from the Lord from a good friend of mine. The Lord spoke to him to speak to me, because honestly, my personal desire was hindering my ability to hear God. Once he told me what God had told him about the assignment and it agreed with my spirit, I came home and told my family that we had received guidance. I explained what God had said and I told them to accept it, because were not going to fight against what God wanted to do. Immediately my wife and I received peace, the peace we had been searching for for months and we got excited about this new chapter of our lives.

My teenage son, however, refused to accept it. Now, I know that it is simply because he is still maturing in life and in God, but that is how many believers do God daily. They get stuck on their desires and refuse to make any adjustments for God! It means that you must be willing to acknowledge God in everything, and then more importantly , you must be willing to make the necessary adjustments to align your life with what God says.

Why pray if you are not wiling to any adjustments? Why ask God for guidance if you are not willing to do what He tells you? So make plans, have desires, and foster dreams, but be willing to adjust if God leads you to. I ask You to lead, guide and direct me; and I declare that as You do, I will make the necessary adjustments in my plans to ensure that I am where You want me to be, doing what You want me to do.

Not only I am willing to acknowledge You, but I am willing to obey You! I trust You with my whole heart and I know You will not lead me wrong! Nothing should be off limits to God. And most importantly, we learned that we must be willing to make the necessary adjustments to align our lives with His instruction His Word. He says that God, after being welcomed in because He will not force Himself , will direct your paths.

Every step that we take on the path towards our destiny will be a straight or correct step. Some believers think they can leave everything to God. But if you read the Bible you will learn that God has a part and we have a part. God will give us the wisdom, but ultimately, we make our own decisions. Well, when we acknowledge God in all our ways, He keeps us on track, because we allow Him to.

You and I both know that that is not the case. What I am saying is that although life is never completely easy, when you involve God in your life decisions and actions , then it will most certainly be easier. Life with God is much better than life without Him! It means that when you choose to involve God in your life He is able to:.

Influence your decisions. At the end of the day, our life is a grand-sum-total of our decisions. God has set it up, so that we will all reap whatever we sow. Sow the right seed and you will reap the right harvest. Help keep you on the path that will lead to His best for your life. God has plans for you Jer and He wants you to fulfill those plans.

When you involve God in your decisions He is able to help you make the decisions that will take you down the path He wants you to go down. Ease the load. Not only does God want you to make it to heaven, but He wants you to enjoy the ride. He does not want you to live a stress-riddled, obstacle filled, miserable life. When you involve Him in your decisions you free Him to help you enjoy the life Jesus died to give you! I want You to influence my decisions, so that I stay on the path You want me on.

As I do, as I seek Your counsel, as I make decisions that line up with Your Word, as I seek to live that life You want me to live, I thank You in advance for clearing the road; for easing the load. I involve You in every area of my life and I free You to move however You see fit! Here he is driving home the waywardness of human wisdom. Even those things that you say you are SURE of today, can change from one day to the next. I was preaching what I believed to be true.

But sometimes, as we grow, we realize that some of the things that we believed were either off-course or flat-out-wrong. Passion does not always equal accuracy. The evening news is full of quotes from people who made passionate plunders. Yes, you can be sincere, and wind up be sincerely wrong.

My point is that you and I both know that we can look back five, 10, 15 years and remember points in our lives where we were completely convinced human wisdom that we knew something, only to find out later that what we were wrong. The only absolute truth comes from God. If I tell you what the Bible says about your situation, then I know I am solid ground. But if I tell you what my opinion is, apart from the Word of God, then we can both wind up on shaky ground.

At that point we can trust our wisdom, because our wisdom is not ours alone. By then it has been developed and fashioned by God Himself. Meaning that it changes. What you believe to be true today may not be true tomorrow. Godly truth never changes. We live in an ever-changing environment. The only constant is God.

When we root our lives thinking, feeling, choosing in His wisdom we develop a source of strength and stability that enables us to live the safe and secure life that many seek after. I declare, right now, by faith, that I will not put my whole heart in human wisdom. I am thankful for everything that I have learned, but I will allow You to fashion and shape my thinking.

I want my wisdom to be deeply rooted in Your wisdom, so I can simply live my life from the inside out, knowing that what I believe on the inside has been influenced by You, Your Word, and Your Spirit. Your wisdom enables me to live a solid, stable, and secure life. In other words, we should not attempt to tap into His wisdom and to glean from His understanding without first having submitted to Him.

The wisdom found in this book is based solidly on the fear of the Lord; not a fear where we are afraid of Him, but a reverential and respectful fear. This fear runs the gamut from a mild respect that simply acknowledges God to a deep and powerful respect that seeks to obey Him wholeheartedly. Whether deep or mild, Solomon tells us that true knowledge begins with fearing the Lord.

Run to God! Run from evil! It is in this running to God, in the fear of the Lord, that we find protection, peace and power. Without the fear of the Lord many lack the moral compass required to navigate the difficulties of life. The Bible has a lot to say about the fear of the Lord. Some of the benefits listed in scripture for those that fear God are:. Fearing God does not mean that you operate in worldly fear; quite the contrary. The Fear of the Lord should keep you from succumbing to the incapacitating force of fear. Quite simply it means that you should fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

You should acknowledge and respect Him in all your ways. You should not continue in sin and think that there will not be consequences. Have a sober understanding of God, His power and His expectation of you to walk in His righteousness today and every day.

I make every attempt to abstain from even the very appearance of evil. I submit unto You and seek to please You all of my days. I thank You in advance for blessing me with the benefits of walking in the Fear of the Lord. Use me as light and salt today! In this case, however, the KJV is both accurate and concise. There is no need to look for alternate translations for understanding.

Solomon tells us that if we perform the proceeding verses , if we trust God with all our heart, lean not to our own understanding, acknowledge God in all our ways, allow Him to direct our path, and turn away from evil, our actions will literally be health to our navels and marrow to our bones. The yet unborn child is nourished not by mouth, but by belly.

It is connected with its mother directly and it feeds off of her everything that it needs to develop and grow. Just like an unborn child needs the umbilical to develop, a twice-born believer needs to be consistently connected to God to grow. Solomon tells us that when we trust Him, when we allow His counsel His Word to help shape our decisions, when we are willing to adjust our lives to be more pleasing to Him, it is as if we were being fed through a Godly umbilical cord.

An unborn baby will die if the connection to their mother is severed. A Born-Again believer will eventually die, Spiritually, if he allows his connection to His Father to be severed. But as we trust God, as we walk with Him daily, and as we allow Him to influence us in daily affairs, we allow Him to feed us His light, His love and His life. It is health and healing to every area of our lives. It contains blood vessels and capillaries that supply the fibers of the bones; making them less liable to break. In other words, bone marrow gives strength to the bones.

Remove all marrow from a bone and it becomes brittle. Restore the marrow and within a few minutes, the bone will be solid and strong again. This is what marrow does for bones and it is what our relationship with God does for us. Without Him, His direction, His leadership, His guidance, and His wisdom, we are frail, fragile, and brittle.

But when we walk with Him, when we trust Him daily, when we acknowledge Him in all our ways, we live the strong, solid, stable, and secure lives that God intends for us to live. His Word, His wisdom, and His counsel are like marrow to our bones. It means that God wants you to live a healthy life. This is much more that just physical health. When you do all that he said to do in verses then you can be physically healthy, emotionally stable, psychologically sound, socially connected, and internally at rest. What He said in verses is that He wants to be a part of your life.

He wants you to involve Him in your decisions. He wants to provide you with everything you need to live the life that He intends for you to live. If you do that you will know what Solomon meant when He said that His wisdom can be strength to your navel and marrow to your bones. Imagine receiving a constant supply Godly nourishment through your navel and having your bones infused with heavenly strength.

I welcome and apply Your wisdom in my life. It is health to my navel and marrow to my bones. I am healthy and strong because I allow You to influence every area of my life. Nothing is off-limits to You. Lead me and I will follow. Speak and I will listen. Feed and I will eat. Release and I will receive. I receive Your wisdom for living and Your strength for life!

Whenever you talk to people about money they want to make sure that you know what you are talking about first. Solomon himself taught this. In Ecclesiastes Solomon told a story of a small city with just a few men in it. The city was attacked by a great king. There was a poor man in the city that had the wisdom to save the city, but no one listened to him, because he was poor see Ecc Solomon, on the other hand, was not poor by any standard.

Solomon was born as heir to the Kingdom; he was the son of King David. He learned at an early age how to manage finances and he was destined by God to build God the house his father David wanted to build. When Solomon was ready to build he knew that he needed cedar wood and that his people were not skilled with wood.

So he contracted the King of Hiram to send the wood an the carpenters, for which he paid Hiram , bushels of wheat 1 Kings , and , gallons of pressed olive oil.

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You know how much olive oil costs today. Imagine , gallons of it. Solomon also hired 30, Israelites to help the carpenters. The project required 75, carriers general laborers , 80, stonecutters and 33, foremen for supervise the project 1 Kings It took 7. When the temple was ready Solomon held a two weeklong dedication ceremony during which he had 22, cattle and , 1 st Kings ,63 sheep sacrificed and offered unto the Lord.

And I could show you other scriptures that show how Solomon received hundreds of millions of dollars a year in silver and gold alone. My point is that Solomon was well qualified to talk about money. Many consider him the richest man money wise to ever live. Moses knew that when the people got into Canaan, after spending so much time in the wilderness, they might not know how to handle the blessing.

When they came into money they were to remember God and His covenant? What was the covenant? I will stop here for today, but know that we will not rush through this. It means that you should honor God with your finances. Money makes an excellent servant, but a poor master. There is nothing in my life, not even money, that I place above you. Money is not my master, it is my servant. Use me Lord, finances and all, to bring You glory; today and every day!

He has retired from professional football, is working on television, and most importantly, he is giving back. He started a Foundation that helps underprivileged kids. He teaches kids that they should live their lives out in three stages: Learn, Earn, and Return. Biblically speaking, we are not called to wait to any particular phase of live to give back. We are to teach our children, as soon as they can understand it, that they should honor God with all their increase.

My children give back from their allowances and from whatever they make on odd jobs here and there. Financial stewardship should be taught early, because undisciplined spending is hard to correct. The Bible has a lot to say about money. I could easily teach an entire series about this. But that is not overall emphasis of this series, so I will attempt to be brief. Biblical giving can be broken up into the following categories:.

This is the principle that Jerome Bettis is teaching and it is Biblical. Some Christians practice tithing and some do not. I for one, do, and believe that it is Biblical. Giving God the first tenth of your income plus offering is a small thing and it is a reminder that He is the Lord of every area of your life.

Whatever your position, it is about giving God the first and giving Him the best of what you receive. Back then agriculture was a major part of commerce. Giving God the first and the best. Honoring Him as the Lord of the harvest. It means that God should be the Lord of your life — and that includes your money. I just want you to enjoy all that God wants you to experience. I give to the less fortunate. I honor You with the first and the best of whatever You bless me with. I support those that are ministering the gospel message to the lost and I thank You for helping me to help them.

I honor You with my life, money and all! I say finances, because that is what we mostly deal with today. The audience who would have read this back then were, for the most part, farmers. Although they primarily dealt in grain, grapes, cattle, and sheep, I want to be clear that Biblical stewardship is not limited to these areas. Our previous verse set called for the readers to honor the Lord to be honorable with their money wealth and produce. For those that heeded the call, for those that were obedient to God, for those that operated honorably with their money and their crops, this verse promises an abundance of grain barns and grapes vats.

Luke 21 - Skip Heitzig

What would the overflowing crops produce? More wealth. And why would God want to bless them with more wealth? Because they were honoring Him — doing the honorable thing — with their wealth. They were giving back to him and blessing the less fortunate. Since they proved they could be trusted with abundance, then God had no problem with releasing abundance.

This is a VERY important point. Why would God bless you with a million dollars if you are not faithful over a thousand? If you refuse to honor God and bless others with your current income, then praying and believing for more may be an exercise in futility. Now, let me be very clear, this is not about you investing in God.

I will give to get! When you prove to God that money does not have you, that you will be faithful over what He blesses you to posses, that you are willing to be a conduit through which He can bless others and that you are willing to finance ministry, then He is free to bless you without measure. It takes money for me to share this email with you and with the world via the Internet. I have to have equipment, an Internet site, a web hosting company, an email list server, software, and etc.

It takes money to share the Word on the radio. I have been on the radio before and I will be again and I know that it is not cheap. It takes money to share the gospel via television lots of money. It takes money to finance missionaries. Most of the world is still unreached. It takes money to translate the Bible into different language. There are thousands of languages and dialects in the world and we only have the Bible in print in about It takes money to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide medical supplies for the sick, and etc.

I could go on and on. So why is this important? It is important to understand because you may not be called to be a missionary. You may not be called to preach the gospel around the world. You may not be called to translate the Bible. You may not be called to… you get the point. But you can make a difference by helping those that are. It means that God wants to know if you can be trusted with finances. Can He trust you with abundance? Can He trust you to give back? Can He trust you to finance ministry?

Can He trust you to make a difference? I am not so selfish that I just want enough for me and mine. If all I have is enough for me and my household, then I will not be able to BE a blessing to others. You can trust me with more than enough and know that I will use it to finance ministry and to make a difference in the lives of others. I will do the honorable thing.

You can trust me! Walking with God is not all roses. Sometimes we will get out of line and God has to correct us, but He does it because He loves us. He wants us to make sure we make the course corrections necessary to get back on the right path. This reminds me of a very familiar a passage in Jeremiah. He saw a potter working a work on his wheel with clay. He then saw something significant. The potter looked down and did not like what he saw, because the vessel he was working on was marred damaged.

This caused the potter to make it all over again, into something that pleased him. The good news of this story is that, although imperfect, the clay was still on the wheel. The vessel might have been marred, but the potter was not through with it. It might have been damaged, but it was still destined. It was a candidate for correction and the potter did just that, so that it could become something pleasing TO HIM!

You take me — with my flaws, failures and all — and You continually work on me and with me to bring to pass Your best for my life. Your grace and mercy are amazing and I will never cease to thank You for chastising and correcting me. Forward ever, backward never! The best is yet to come! The point being that we must accept the process.

The process is sometimes painful, but it is always productive. Ultimately, the Potter knows what He is doing. In the next verse we receive motivation to accept the process. Solomon explains that the Lord only does what He does because He loves us. Just as a father takes the time to discipline his son, because he loves him, God does the same for us. I have two teenage children and a two-year old.

There are sometimes when my teenagers do things that I see need correcting. Even though I am tired, even though I might not feel like getting into long explanations, even though I may prefer to ignore their actions, I force myself to take the time to correct them. Because I love them. Now, they may think I am being hard on them, but I am only doing what I do with their best interest in mind.

Whether I feel like it or not, my love for them drives me to correct them, because I want to do all that I can for them and share all that I can with them. What is it that drives a young child on a merry-go-round to wave at his parents every time around? And what makes his parents wave back? It is love. It is an eternal connection. It is an inner-bond. It is a covenant between parent and child — child and parent. When we understand this connection we can better receive from God. Just like we want the best for our children, God wants the best for His. The difference is that He never makes mistakes.

Our children often see and feel the affects of our mistakes, but they still love us. We have a heavenly Father that never makes a mistake. So never question His love, His motives, nor His methods. The opposite is true. A true mark of maturity in Christ is understanding that fact and welcoming His chastisement and correction. I recounted time after time where she refused to back down to my ill-warranted desires, because she knew better and because she loved me. As I thanked her I saw on her face what all parents want; and that is the satisfaction that comes from knowing that you did all that you could and that your children appreciated it.

It means that you should take a few moments to take self-inventory this morning. Are you mature enough to thank God for His correction? Or are you too immature to understand why you need it? Without it, you will never maximize your potential in life! I declare, by faith, that I follow You with my whole heart. I welcome your correction and I know that I need it. Speak Lord, Your servant is listening! Prov ,14 NIV Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.

Millions of Americans are concerned about the future. They see rising gas prices, an unstable economy, a nation in the middle of a long-war, and financial institutions falling left and right. Many that are seeking peace of mind find it in their savings accounts. Their money is their security blanket. But happens when the money is not there? What happens if the money runs out? What happens if the money is no longer the be-all end-all that many mistakenly thought it was?

Is money bad? Of course not, but money is not everything. What if I told you that what you are doing right now is one of the most profitable practices of your daily routine? Do you realize how important taking time with God is? Do you understand the impact that His wisdom can have upon your life? Our text says that those that find His wisdom and gain His understanding shall be Blessed! I know that some have made the word prosperity to be an ugly word in the church. Some have pursued money to a fault. But prosperity is not al about money. To say that prosperity involves money is not incorrect, but it is way incomplete.

God wants you to be physically healthy, to live a long and fulfilling life, to have fruitful and rewarding relationships, to enjoy the satisfaction of making a difference in your environment, and to die with the pleasure of knowing that you fulfilled your purpose in the earth. Now how valuable is that? How much is a life like that worth? How much more significant is that than money? Solomon had lots of money. By most accounts he was the richest man in the world.

But he did not get there because he asked God to make him rich. No, he asked God for wisdom. Godly wisdom was the key that unlocked every other door for him. It was the wisdom of God that made the difference. Wisdom was the difference maker in his life and it can be the difference maker in yours. It means that you should keep your perspective clear and your priorities in order.

Money is required in life and as I have stated numerous times that money makes and excellent slave, but a poor master. Money is a necessary tool, but it should not be your number one focus. You said that if any lacked wisdom that they could ask it of You, so I ask right now, by faith. I ask You to release Your wisdom in my life for today.

I receive Your wisdom by faith and I declare that Your wisdom in the difference maker for me. Knowing how You want me to face every day is more precious to me than silver and gold. Speak Lord, I need to hear from You! She may not have completed higher education, but she has gained wisdom and understanding as she has traveled the course of her life. Very few people I know are more respected than my mother. One of the things she often told me in Spanish was that I should take things based upon who said them.

Considering the source this morning is important, because Solomon is telling us that wisdom is more precious than jewels and basically ANYTHING that we could ever desire. Solomon was more than qualified to make such a statement because he was both the wisest and the richest man in the land. He made the statement because he knew that his wisdom did not come from his riches; it was the other way around.

Solomon was young when he took over the throne from his father David. He was concerned about assuming such a great responsibility being King at such a young age. He was young, he was in charge, he was somewhat afraid, and he was seeking help from God. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. Solomon had maturity beyond his years.

He did not ask for fame or fortune, he asked for wisdom and understanding; for help in carrying out the duties of the office that he had been charged with. He knew that he was in authority, but also knew that he was under authority. He submitted to God so that those that he led would submit to him.

All leaders should learn from his example. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Solomon had wisdom and riches, but he knew which had first place in his life. He attributed all his success to the wisdom of God. Without it, he would not have been able to lead, to build the temple, and to make the impact that he did.

Proverbs Chapter 3

It means that nothing should take a higher place in your life over the pursuit of Godly wisdom. You, like my wife, may like precious jewels. You may have other desires. There is nothing wrong with having nice things. God has blessed us to possess and enjoy lots of niceties, but they mean nothing in comparison to the wisdom of God.

I am able to make an impact in the military and in the ministry because of His wisdom operating in my life. His wisdom will make you wise beyond your years and open doors for you that no man can close. Believe me, that is more previous than rubies. After receiving Your Son as my Savior, the pursuit of Your wisdom is first place in my life. As I walk with You and You walk with me, together, we make a difference!

Prov MSG With one hand she gives long life, with the other she confers recognition. Her manner is beautiful, her life wonderfully complete. Hold her tight—and be blessed! The message of eternal life through Jesus Christ must be preached to every man in every land. The importance of receiving Christ as Lord is second to none in the life of any person.

But after you accept Christ, after you have been Born-Again, after you have eternal life, then what? Salvation is not the end, but rather the beginning. After we are Born-Again we are able to, for the first time, really hear from God. We open the scriptures and see them in a new light. Because the author is then living inside of us. Most new believers have an insatiable thirst for the scriptures. It is all new, it is all good, and it is all powerful.

I received Christ at 23 and I know that for me, that is when my life started to come into focus. I teach that every believer should 1 Find, 2 Follow, and then 3 Finish their purpose, in the earth, before they die. However, you cannot do this without the wisdom of God. Solomon says that wisdom, on the one hand will give long life, and with the other recognition. Who wants to live long if they are living miserable? God does not want us to be saved, but miserably saved.

He wants us to live the lives He has destined for us to live. Another translation says that her ways are pleasant and all her paths lead to peace. The point here is that when we walk in the wisdom of God we are able to get along with people. We are able to have pleasant, rewarding, and meaningful relationships. Life is too precious to attempt to live it alone. He teaches us how to be at peace with ourselves and with others; physical, psychological, and social health. This is the life God wants us to live and if we want to live it, then we will need Godly wisdom.

This means that I will have to change some of my ways. It means that like everything else, the choice is yours. Hold wisdom tight and Be Blessed! After receiving Christ I know that my best years are ahead of me. I make swift and accurate changes, as I am led, and I experience the best year and years of my life. I eat daily from the Very Tree of Your Life! I hold wisdom tight and I am blessed in every area and aspect of my life! The earth is just the right distance from the sun to make human life possible. If the earth were any closer to the sun, we would burn up.

If it were any further, we would freeze. Have you ever looked at the sea?

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The waters ebb and flow without human intervention. They draw back the right amount of sand during the day and bring it back at night. They only come but so far and then stop. What about the air you breathe? We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Plants do the opposite and help us to cohabitate. Without plants we would die. Without humans plants would die.

What about rain? Solomon mentions the clouds and the dew. What about the human eye? If you ever do any research on the eye itself you will be amazed. The tear production system, along with our subconscious blinking, constantly cleans the eyes. Also, there is a small bone behind the eye that has a small hole in it where tears pass through.

I could go on and on about creation, about the interrelated and interdependent nature and order of things, but in it all we see the glory and the wisdom of God. How much would you pay for a one-on-one mentoring session with Donald Trump? Or Bill Gates? Or Oprah Winfrey? Or Colin Powell? Or Billy Graham? Or… whomever. My point is that there are certain people in the world that you hold in high regard. You consider them wise and you would love to have a closed session with them. Well, guess what? No human as ever come close to possessing the wisdom of God.

God is the alpha and omega, the beginning and ending, the author and finisher, the first and the last, the creator and sustainer of everything and He makes Himself available to you. He clears his schedule whenever you are ready. He stops what He is doing to spend time with you. When he cites Ps in , he establishes the mode of argument by comparing two things: if scripture was not in error calling mortals "gods" Ps , then neither is there error in calling the one whom God consecrated and sent into the world "the Son of God" On the contrary, he claims more.

Yet how does the Fourth Gospel understand Ps ? One stream of critical opinion takes the citation extrinsically, on a literal level as a mere play on words. If mortals, for whatever reason, can truly be called "gods" according to scripture, then the term is not a priori preposterously applied to Jesus. This type of explanation does not ask under what circumstances mortals might be called "gods," and it sees Jesus basically engaging in an evasive maneuver. Such reasoning, however, does not mesh with the Johannine perspective for several reasons.

The Fourth Gospel always criticizes people who take things literally, either Jesus' word or the scriptures. Regularly we find a pattern where Jesus makes a statement, which his hearers misunderstand because they take it on a literal level, which leads Jesus to issue a clarification which exposes the spiritual or inner meaning of his words. This is all the more true since the Gospel constantly maintains that spiritual vision is needed to see the inner meaning of texts from the scriptures which Jesus fulfills see John , 22; ; , 58, etc.

A literal reading of Psalm 82, moreover, seems inconsistent with the more typical pattern of Johannine Christology. Wayne Meeks noted that when something claimed about Jesus causes a reaction from the synagogue, the Johannine community tends not to moderate its claim, but to rephrase it in such a way as to cause even greater offense. How, then, does the Fourth Gospel understand and use Psalm 82?

Scholars have long argued that this refers to Israel at Sinai when God gave it the Torah, which I think is absolutely correct. Westcott, for example, argued that when the Fourth Gospel speaks of "those to whom the word of God came," the evangelist refers to the preexistent Word who regularly gave theophanies to Israel's patriarchs. Ps in Jewish Midrash. Although it is not the only stream of interpretation of Ps in Jewish literature, there is a clear sense that Ps was understood in terms of Israel at the Sinai theophany.

A second-century midrash goes as follows:. If it were possible to do away with the Angel of Death I would. But the decree has long ago been decreed. Jose says: It was upon this condition that the Israelites stood up before Mount Sinai, on the condition that the Angel of Death should have not power over them. But you have corrupted your conduct. According to Exod , when the Israelites saw the mountain blazing with lightning and heard the thundering, they said to Moses: "You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.

But with the worship of the golden calf, Israel sinned, and suffered once more the penalty for sin, which is death: "You shall die like men" Ps An important variation of this midrash occurs in b. Zar: 5a. The context is a discussion of Deut where Israel received the Sinai revelation. Commentary: the occasion is Sinai; Israel is once again called god because deathless. But now we find the explicit note that being called god and being deathless are linked to the reception of Torah.

In fact, Israel chooses God's Torah for the express purpose that the Angel of Death should not have power over it. Something else, then, is operative here which suggests that receiving God's word Torah makes one holy, and if holy, then sinless, and if sinless, then deathless. A third early midrash can help to clarify the basic lines of this interpretation of Ps The context is a reflection on Deut , "I will see what their end will be," which is seen referring to a fickle, perfidious people.

Commentary: at Sinai Israel received God's word of Torah "all that the Lord hath spoken" and became holy and sinless " Although it is not explicitly stated here, this argument assumes that holiness leads to deathlessness, which is a godlike quality, for which reason Israel is called god. Yet with Israel's new sin comes death, the typical fate of sinful mortals "ye shall die like men". The basic lines of the midrashic understanding of Ps , then, are clear. When Israel at Sinai received God's Torah and obeyed, this led to genuine holiness which resulted in deathlessness; hence, Israel could be called god because deathless.

But when disobedient and sinful, Israel deserved the wages of sin, that is, death; hence, Israel could be called man. Yet this type of argument presumes some biblical understanding of death and deathlessness as well as of the nature of humanity and God. In short, the link between obedience-holiness-deathlessness lies back in the Genesis exposition of Adam in God's "image and likeness," [44] an implicit scenario made explicit in the following midrash. The segment is somewhat long, but because of its importance and the complicated argument in it, it deserves to be cited as fully as possible.

Eleazar b. In the same strain it says, "The writing was the writing of God, graven haruth upon the tables" Exod What is the signification of "haruth"? Judah says: Freedom heruth from foreign governments; R. See then the plan the Holy One, blessed be He, had made for them!

Yet forthwith they frustrated the plan after forty days. Accordingly it says, "But ye have set at nought all my counsel" Prov Yet after all this greatness, you wanted to die! Similarly, "And God created man in His own image" Gen , that is to say, that he should live and endure like Himself. Yet [says God] he corrupted his deeds and nullified My decree. For he ate of the tree, and I said to him: "For dust thou art" Gen The typical features of the midrashic understanding of Ps are clearly evident: a Sinai and the giving of the Torah, b Israel's obedience "cleaving unto the Lord" , c deathlessness or immortality "freedom from the Angel of Death"..

Adam died precisely because he sinned and lost God's holiness and "image. The midrashim we are examining all presume a complex yet traditional explanation of the source of death. Good biblical doctrine states that God created Adam in a state of holiness. Although we have surveyed only four instances of the midrashic understanding of Psalm 82, many more can be found in Jewish literature. Yet as we investigate those other citations of Psalm 82, they only confirm what has just been shown.

Evidently some midrashim contain a fully developed exposition of the Psalm, while others have but fragments of an explanation. Yet even the earliest midrash cited above, the Mekilta, implies as much as it states, probably because it reflects a very common tradition which is presumably well known. Not all of the elements of the midrash, moreover, need be explicitly mentioned when the Psalm is interpreted, for midrash is like an iceberg. As much is implied as is visible.

With this survey of midrashic interpretation of Ps in mind, we return to John Does the Fourth Gospel interpret Psalm 82 in a midrashic manner, and, if so, how much of the midrash does it know and use? Midrash in John If the Fourth Gospel understands Psalm 82 in a midrashic manner, we would want to see where John stands in regard to three issues which regularly arise in the midrashim. Finally, even the simple midrash assumes some biblical notion of death and deathlessness, which implies an understanding of Genesis or some popular myth of the origin of death in the world.

With these points in mind let us return to John As we noted above, the Fourth Gospel seems to understand Psalm 82 in a midrashic sense as referring to Israel at Sinai. People, then, are not called god gratuitously, for there is intrinsic content to the predication.

Although deathlessness is not explicitly mentioned in , I would argue that it is assumed in the link between holiness and godlikeness. After all, it is not the mere physical hearing of the Word of God, but hearing in faith and obedience which constitutes holiness. Such is the hearing that is celebrated in John ; ; This Gospel clearly sees an intrinsic link between hearing in faith and passing to eternal life.

Nevertheless, John does not explicitly link godlikeness with deathlessness, but only with holiness. The focus on holiness, moreover, continues in the application of Ps to Jesus in If Israel, who became holy, may be called god , then it is not blasphemy if Jesus, whom God consecrated and sent as his apostle into the world, is called god and Son of God. Holiness or sinlessness again serves as the ground for calling someone, Israel or Jesus, god. Throughout the Fourth Gospel. As regards his alleged sinfulness, the Gospel repeatedly takes note of the popular judgment of Jesus as a sinner , 24 , a judgment based on his two healings on the sabbath ; His enemies, moreover, charge him with being thoroughly evil, that is, possessed of a demon ; ; John represents but the most recent evidence of this defense, as it proclaims that God consecrated Jesus.

God, then, judges Jesus to be sinless and worthy to stand in the divine presence. Nor could anyone convict Jesus of sin This radical image of commissioning evoked for Rudolf Schnackenburg the sense of a person sealed with the Holy Spirit, [49] a comment that makes us recall the testimony of the Baptizer in As we saw with the midrashim, this interpretation presumes some notion of deathlessness linked with holiness.

Yet it is important to pay attention to where and how Ps functions in the forensic structure of The Fourth Gospel uses Psalm 82 as a refutation of part of the charge. At a minimum, then, Jesus refutes the essence of the charge by maintaining that God makes him what he is, namely, a consecrated servant, agent, and apostle, a person totally set apart by God for sacred duty. But if it confounds his accusers , does it explain or support the claims made in which precipitated the forensic controversy in the first place?

Even when made deathless, Israel always remained less than God, merely mortal; the Angel of Death might still have power over them. Of Jesus, however, this Gospel claims that he is no mere mortal, but a divine figure. He has power over the Angel of Death, not vice versa. What then of the forensic claims themselves? Yet is Jesus himself deathless?

Whence comes his power over death? Friend and foe both know that he died on the cross. Nor is Jesus the helpless victim whose life is taken from him, either by men or the Angel of Death. Jesus, then, while not literally deathless himself, has full power over death.