words of wisdom

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Wisdom.  Wisdom is not on our radar often enough.  We make choices based upon our feelings.  Our emotions.  Our own merit.  Upon how we are affected.  Upon our own understanding.  Certainly these are a part of the decision-making process.  But what about discernment?  What about wisdom?

And what about when we make poor choices?  Tragic choices?  Intentional choices?  When we sin?  When we doubt?  When we lash out in anger?  When we respond selfishly?  Self-servingly?  Worldy?  Where is wisdom then?

In the book of Proverbs wisdom is often personified.  And wisdom is a woman.  Read into this whatever you like….  But it’s extremely interesting that the voice of wisdom speaks, she constantly calls for humility.  She appeals to discernment.  She pleads for fidelity.

“Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech…” (Proverbs 1:20).

She goes to where the people are.  There is never any doubt as to her message.  There is no question as to the need for wisdom.  The need for discernment.  Only the question of whether or not we will listen.

Do we seek wisdom from God?  From His Word?  From His Spirit?  From His Son?  God never contradicts Himself.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  His character, His nature, His being, His purposes, are never changing.  He is constant.  He is true.  He is just.

Wisdom pursues His will for our lives.  Wisdom requests His will.  Wisdom seeks His will.  Wisdom accepts His will.  Wisdom is discerning of His will and does not confuse His will with our own.  Wisdom acknowledges His infiniteness.  And our finiteness.

The Apostle Paul when writing in regard to the ways in which God has acted upon behalf of humankind, speaks of the wisdom of God and His graciousness revealed to us in and through the Gospel of Jesus.  “It is because of Him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).  You see as believers true wisdom is found only in Christ.  Only in life lived in Christ.  Only in discerning God’s will for our lives and having the courage and faithfulness to pursue His will.

As Christians the voice of wisdom calls to us.  She calls us to right thinking.  To objectivity.  To faithful living.  To pursue the will of God.  To where true wisdom lies.  In God.  And in Christ.

But the question remains: Will we listen? 

Glory to God!

Jason

the power of words

words

At WE we’ve begun an emphasis on Sunday mornings of the parables and “I AM” statements of Jesus.  The common theme of the messages is: “Words That Changed the World.”  Focusing upon the ministry of our Savior and how He intentionally communicated the reality of the Kingdom to those who would hear His message.  Certainly there are those who refuse to listen.  But for those who embrace the words of our Lord, lives are forever changed.

As we’ve stated, many of our adult classes (with others to follow), as well as our high school and junior high classes, are studying the same texts each week.  Although each class has a culture and barometer all its own, our hope is that as we connect our classroom study with the messages on Sunday morning we will foster an environment of connection and unity by doing so.

Words are powerful.  They are powerful.  And among all of God’s created, human beings are the only ones who communicate with words.

Trevor Hudson articulates well, “Our words, whether spoken or written, enable us to reveal or hide ourselves, to build or to break community, to help or to hurt our neighbor.  When used carefully, words facilitate self-disclosure, foster communion, and release healing.  When used carelessly, they create confusion, generate conflict, and cultivate chaos.  Well aware of this immense potential that inhabits our words, the writer of the Proverbs exclaims without exaggeration: ‘Death and life are in the power of our words (Proverbs 18:21).”

I wonder how acutely aware you are of the power of your words?  I wonder if you are intently cognizant that enveloped within the things you say lies the power of “death and life”?

How many relationships have been completely devastated by the speaking of harmful words?  How many who were once close have been injured, wounded deeply, distanced, through selfish, harsh, or uncaring words?

On the other hand, how many lives have been forever wonderfully impacted through encouraging words?  How many have been healed through the kind words of a friend?  How many believers has God empowered to accomplish great things for the Kingdom through the comforting, assuring words of a God-sent encourager?

The power to speak death.  The power to speak life.

“Out of the overflow of the heart,” our Savior affirms, “the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

Glory to God!

Jason

sticks and stones

Beach Rocks“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

That old adage may bring some comfort to a little boy who has just gotten his feelings hurt at school, but it doesn’t hold a whole lot of water in the real world does it?

Words are powerful.  They are powerful.  And among all of God’s created, human beings are the only ones who communicate with words.

Trevor Hudson articulates well, “Our words, whether spoken or written, enable us to reveal or hide ourselves, to build or to break community, to help or to hurt our neighbor.  When used carefully, words facilitate self-disclosure, foster communion, and release healing.  When used carelessly, they create confusion, generate conflict, and cultivate chaos.  Well aware of this immense potential that inhabits our words, the writer of the Proverbs exclaims without exaggeration: ‘Death and life are in the power of our words (Proverbs 18:21).”

communicationI wonder how acutely aware you are of the power of your words?  I wonder if you are intently cognizant that enveloped within the things you say lies the power of “death and life”?

How many relationships have been devastated by the speaking of hurtful words?  How many loved ones have been injured, wounded deeply, distanced, through selfish, harsh, or uncaring words?

On the other hand, how many lives have been forever wonderfully impacted through encouraging words?  How many have been healed through the kind words of a friend?  How many believers has God empowered to accomplish great things for the Kingdom through the comforting, assuring words of a God-sent encourager?

angerThe power to speak death.  The power to speak life.

“Out of the overflow of the heart,” our Savior affirms, “the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

And so consider the words that you speak, and the words that you have spoken.

What do your words say about your heart?

Are there any fences that need to be mended?  Or relationships that need to healed?

Glory to God!

Jason

faith and affirmation

MP900390524“The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21).

Nathaniel Hawthorne came home from his job at a custom house (a building housing the offices that process legal paperwork) devastated that he had just been let go.  When he broke the news to his wife, however, she responded with joy!  “Now you can write your book!”  Puzzled, he asked, “And what shall we live on while I’m writing it?”  Mrs. Hawthorne walked over to a drawer in the kitchen, slowly reached inside, and then retrieved a stack of money she had been saving unbeknownst to him.  “I always knew you were a man of genius.  And that you’d one day write your masterpiece.”  And because of the faith and affirming words of Mrs. Hawthorne toward her husband, every library in the world has a copy of The Scarlet Letter. 

Boy Sticking Out His TongueFaith and affirmation.  I wonder if you realize how much power God has given you?  I wonder if you realize that you have the ability to turn the tide in someone’s life through faith and affirming words?  Not solely faith in God (certainly that’s where it begins as God works in our hearts) but by placing faith in others.  By telling them, showing them, that you believe in them.  By affirming to them that you believe they can accomplish great things.

Isn’t that what God has done for us through Jesus?  “I believe in you Jason,” the Gospel declares.  But what about us?  Do we speak a word of hope into the lives of others?  Whether to the children that we tuck in bed every night in our all too comfortable homes, or to the man who sleeps in his car at the corner of Elm St. and Bonner Ave.  Do we demonstrate faith in them and affirm them in such a way, that they begin to believe that God has something more in store for their lives than what they can presently see?

James, the brother of Jesus, affirms to us, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do” (James 2:18).  Later on he confronts us, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men… my brothers, this should not be” (James 3:9-10).

With our words we build up.  With our words we tear down.  With our actions the Kingdom is furthered.  And with our actions the Kingdom is hemmed in.

“The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21).

You, have the power of life and death….

Glory to God!

Jason

the voice of wisdom

Wisdom.  Wisdom is not on our radar often enough.  We make choices based upon our feelings.  Our emotions.  Our own merit.  Upon how we are affected.  Upon our own understanding.  Certainly these are a part of the decision-making process.  But what about discernment?  What about wisdom?

And what about when we make poor choices?  Tragic choices?  Intentional choices?  When we sin?  When we doubt?  When we lash out in anger?  When we respond selfishly?  Self-servingly?  Worldy?  Where is wisdom then?

In the book of Proverbs wisdom is often personified.  And wisdom is a woman.  Read into this whatever you like….  But it’s extremely interesting as the voice of wisdom speaks, she constantly calls for humility.  She appeals to discernment.  She pleads for fidelity.

“Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech…” (Proverbs 1:20).

She goes to where the people are.  There is never any doubt as to her message.  There is no question as to the need for wisdom.  The need for discernment.  Only the question of whether or not we will listen.

Do we seek wisdom from God?  From His Word?  From His Spirit?  From His Son?  God never contradicts Himself.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  His character, His nature, His being, His purposes, are never changing.  He is constant.  He is true.  He is just.

Wisdom pursues His will for our lives.  Wisdom requests His will.  Wisdom seeks His will.  Wisdom accepts His will.  Wisdom is discerning of His will and does not confuse His will with our own.  Wisdom acknowledges His infiniteness.  And our finiteness.

The Apostle Paul when writing in regard to the ways in which God has acted upon behalf of humankind, speaks of the wisdom of God and His graciousness revealed to us in and through the Gospel of Jesus.  “It is because of Him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).  You see as believers true wisdom is found only in Christ.  Only in life lived in Christ.  Only in discerning God’s will for our lives and having the courage and faithfulness to pursue His will.

As Christians the voice of wisdom calls to us.  She calls us to right thinking.  To objectivity.  To faithful living.  To pursue the will of God.  To where true wisdom lies.  In God.  And in Christ.

But the question remains: Will we listen? 

Glory to God!

Jason