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Need Wisdom? Ask God

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 One short verse, but so much truth here! Let’s unpack it together: Humility The verse begins, If any of you lacks wisdom. In order to receive, we must first acknowledge we lack it! A prideful heart resists asking for help. Self-sufficiency is a chief stumbling block to attaining wisdom. Ask God God is the source of wisdom. When we go looking elsewhere, true wisdom will elude us. At best, we will get a band-aid rather …

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Examine the Good

  God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31     My oldest son has always been a thinker and a man of few words. It frustrated me to ask him: “How as soccer practice? Answer: “Good.” “How was youth group?” Answer: “Good.” “How was your chemistry final?” Answer: “Good.” I was humbled when re-reading the creation account, noting that “good” was also what God proclaimed over His creation at the conclusion of each day. He even added the pronoun very on the last day! The Bible has much to say about “good.” Searching …

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Letting It Go

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience, it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 While the TSA may admonish air travelers, “If you see something, say something,” perhaps God’s advice would more often be, “If you see something, pray something.” The most Christ-like, holy action we take today might be to close our mouths: to choose prayer over retaliation, intercession over criticism. Perhaps the best way to hone this spiritual life skill is to practice the habit of “prayer walking” — allowing what you see to prompt you to pray. Resist the urge to condemn as you …

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The Easy Way is Often NOT the Wise Way

“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Proverbs 14:8 Deception can be a quick, easy way to get out of an awkward situation or a tight jam. Just a little white lie to a four-year-old (“we don’t have any ice cream”), to the sales clerk (“it was a gift”), or to your husband (“it was on sale”) may seem harmless at the time, but that shortcut comes at a high price. Easy, quick solutions to immediate dilemmas often bring significant long-term consequences. Much sin is like that. We …

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Lay Hold and Hold On

“…Lay hold of my words with all your heart…” Proverbs 4:4 “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” Proverbs 4:13 Have you ever laid hold of something as if your life depended on it (probably the equivalent of “with all your heart”)? If you’re in deep water and someone throws out a life preserver, you wouldn’t try to catch it with one finger – your arms would be embracing it. That’s the passion and intention with which we should lay hold of the Word of God. Laying hold is what …

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Knowledge, Wisdom, and Discipling

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7   After mulling over what it means to be a “woman who fears the Lord” in Proverbs 31, I came back to Proverbs 1 at the beginning of the month and found this nugget: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge … The place to begin for knowledge is a posture of reverence, holy fear, and awe towards God.  He is the source of all knowledge because He is the creator of all.  A rebellious heart may reject or …

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Life is Good But God’s Love Is Better

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. Psalm 63:3 Life is good. You’ve probably said that a few times – perhaps in response to a passing “How are you?” from a friend. The response has become almost a cliché, on par with: Can’t complain! Awesome! Fine! Great! One organization has successfully transformed “life is good” into a thriving business. (Maybe you own a Life Is Good tee shirt.) Their mission is to spread the power of optimism and their tag line reads:  LIFE IS NOT PERFECT. LIFE IS NOT EASY. LIFE IS GOOD. As a follower of Christ, …

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No Condemnation

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 Condemnation. We’ve all experienced it. Sometimes it surprises us … catches us off guard. But where does it come from? Friend and family? Neighbors and co-workers? Sometimes we find it online and other times on social media. But the worst is perhaps when it bubbles up in our own head and heart. Have you ever found yourself condemning yourself? Paul reminds us in Romans 8 what our enemy wants us to forget: we are no longer condemned! Our identity in Christ has set us free from the …

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Believe and Live

  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31 The reason John wrote his gospel is the same reason many of us talk to our children and grandchildren about Jesus: we want them to have eternal life! On Easter Sunday morning this year, we watched as a little girl in our church was baptized. The children’s pastor commented that when he asked her about coming to know Jesus she responded, “My family talks to me about Jesus all …

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Abraham Believed God

  Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6     The word, credited, carries the meaning of assigning value or putting something into someone else’s account. Where NIV uses credited (as noted above), other versions translate this Hebrew word: Counted(KJV) Reckoned(NASB) My husband, the college professor, has often been asked by his students, “Will you give me credit for this answer?” or “Can I get partial credit?” In the old days, country doctors (and probably city doctors, too!) accepted milk or eggs in credit for services rendered. We use the phrase, “I’ll give you credit for trying…” It all carries …

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Jesus The Way, The Truth and The Life

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6   This verse may be familiar to many of us. The phrase, “…the way and the truth and the life” may easily roll off our tongues, because we have heard it quoted many times. We may have committed it to memory if we grew up in Sunday School or Awana. We may be struck by the combination of these three descriptors: way, truth, life. These are an interesting combination. As we focus on the words individually, it prompts us to …

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Believe the Son or Reject the Son

  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. John 3:36   Everyone human being falls into one of two camps: 1. Believer 2. Non-believer Some might say, “I haven’t rejected Jesus – I just don’t believe in Him.” But by default, refusing to accept is equivalent to rejecting Him. There is no middle ground. Choosing not to choose is a choice in itself. And, like everything in life, choices bring consequences. Age has a way of humbling us and providing wisdom that can only …