- Stay grounded in the goodness and power of God, and grateful for his blessing. You know: “God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our food.”
- Don’t say, do, or buy anything stupid. Three things to stay zipped up: your mouth, your pants, and your purse.
- Don’t be extreme about anything, except putting God first in your life and following the Lord Jesus to the letter.
- Do first things first. Prayer and the Bible before facing the world. Work before play. Sowing liberally before expecting a harvest.
- Bide your time. Oaks require years to mature. Weeds pop up overnight.
- There’s something to learn every day and from every person you meet.
- Share the best you have, which is the fullness of God in Jesus Christ.
- Never underestimate the power of the gospel and the power of your word on behalf of Christ. Speak up!
- Be motivated by love, and let that motivation be always in evidence.
- Pay the price of preparation, share the pain of suffering for the gospel, revel in the grace of salvation.
“King Solomon was wealthier and wiser than any of the kings of the earth.”
2 Chronicles 9.22
God gave Solomon great gifts. For the most part, they were not well used. But he did produce much of the book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, for our learning and direction.
What gifts has God given you to use well for his glory and kingdom?
“But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, growing brighter and brighter until full day.”
This chapter on wisdom contrasts the way of the wicked and that of the righteous. Wisdom must be valued and pursued vigorously.
How does this verse speak to the righteous who find themselves under duress?
“Guard against self-deception, each of you. If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise.”
1 Corinthians 3.18
To become wise in the eyes of God, one must surrender the wisdom of this age, becoming foolish, so to speak, about this world.
Why does Paul warn about guarding against self-deception?
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV)
Всякое раздражение и ярость, и гнев, и крик, и злоречие со всякою злобою да будут удалены от вас; но будьте друг ко другу добры, сострадательны, прощайте друг друга, как и Бог во Христе простил вас. (К Ефесянам 4:31-32 Russian)
Most holy and awesome God, our dear Father in heaven ~ thank you the blessing of life on this Lord’s Day that greets all people who love Christ as Lord. Bless all people in the world with the opportunity to know about your love and grace that has brought the hope of eternal life to this dark world. Give all Christians the wisdom to think before speaking so that we do not stir up any bitter feelings toward fellow believers. Help us to be good examples for all people of the way Jesus would behave in any situation. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
David Binkley, Sr., Gospel Minister
Cedar Creek FL
In his online devotional today David Deffenbaugh wrote:
People were drawn to, desired, and appreciated wisdom. Who today is renown for their wisdom? The fact is, we’re just not that interested in it.
There’s no way to research if the percentage of fools today is greater than in the days of Solomon. But mankind today is drawn to entertainment, desires thrills for the moment, and appreciates a cheap laugh more than deep truth. People today are renowned for their studies in science, their attempts to break silly world records, or the lack of self-control of the rich and famous. We’re interested in comfort and gadgets and virtual gossip.
Let the family of God desire his wisdom and live in the discernment of his will, as did the eternal Son. Let their televisions be conspicuously silent, and their screens frequently dark. Let their hands be busy in the service of Christ and their resources given to the gospel. Let their thoughts turn often to heaven, and their words to the inspired Scriptures. Let their lives be undiluted beacons of light in a world drowning in the darkness of trivial pursuits.
Let Jesus Christ truly become for them the wisdom of God, 1 Cor 1.30.
“Those who love pleasure become poor;
those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.”
Proverbs 21.17 NLT
The lover of pleasure wanders from the way of wisdom, v. 16.
What modern pleasures do people waste their money on?
“Counsel and sound wisdom belong to me;
I possess understanding and might.”
They say knowledge is power; God’s wisdom contains both.
How does Solomon say this wisdom is obtained?
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men-than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations” (1 Kings 4:29-31 NKJV). The God-given wisdom of Solomon written in the Book of Proverbs is the best psychology book explaining human behavior ever written. Simply put, everyone is either “wise” or “foolish.” “Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction” (Proverbs 10:14 NKJV). This was hundreds of years before Christ. No Eastern philosophy or religion was equal to it, then or now! That Solomon’s “fame” spread world-wide shows that to be the case.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
Solomon “spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (1 Kings 4:32-34 NKJV). With God’s wisdom, Solomon judged human behavior, wrote songs, understood God’s Creation, and stood out from “all” earthly kings. Solomon spoke “of” trees, animals, birds, creeping things, and fish,” but not “to” them. He was not like some fictional “Dr. Doolittle” where the Creation talks back, or Aesop whose fables teach animals’ words. Solomon was not in charge of Creation, like the made-up goddess “Mother Nature!” World leaders should come to Solomon today!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver (Proverbs 16:13, NKJV). The value of wisdom above wealth is obvious to any and all mature people. The value of wisdom helps one make proper use of what is possessed. Unfortunately, there are an untold number of people who value material possessions to the point they are consumed in thinking about them. Whatever value there might be in material things, in comparison with godly wisdom it pales! How can it not pale? Wisdom is great, but godly wisdom is greater still! With godly wisdom one knows the direction of life and the destination after life is over. With godly wisdom one knows how to handle the nuances of life because the Lord has set the proper course for each of us. Yes, it is true, there are some circumstances in life where one may not know what to do, but none of those circumstances will pertain to how to live morally, because the saints know how to live. He lives for God. Wisdom and understanding is FAR better than material wealth.
1. Hear & Heed (Romans 10:17)
2. Seek & Anchor (Colossians 3:1)
3. Hide & Prevent (Proverbs 4:23)
4. Bless (Matthew 5:16)
5. Preach & Live (2 Timothy 2:15)
6. Rejoice & Value (Philippians 4:4)
7. Meditate & Direct (2 Corinthians 13:5)
8. Resolve (Colossians 3:5)
“So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.” (Luke 16:8 – NKJV)
Smart money is money that has been used wisely. And while it may shock some, Jesus was big on the idea of God’s people being smart with their money.
True enough that Jesus’ financial advice included making the right investments in Heaven as opposed to solely here on Earth (Matthew 6:19-21), but Jesus also emphasized the importance of being wise with the money that we use during our stay on Earth. He even did so to the extent that he told a story that ended up praising a steward’s wise use of his master’s finances. Not once did Jesus praise the steward’s moral character…but he did praise the steward’s smart use of money to get ahead with others. And I can’t help but get the impression that Jesus would love for us to combine good moral character with the good use of our money (and by that I mean the money God has given to us as stewards while we live upon this Earth).
Jesus taught that we need to control our money as much as we need to avoid allowing our money to control us. To do that with have to be sensible with our cents.
We need to avoid foolish spending trends like the “tiny home” hot real estate move that often costs anywhere from 25% to 200% more per square foot to own. We don’t need to buy something only because it’s on sale…it doesn’t matter how much we “save” if we spent something on something when we needed nothing to begin with. We do not need to get attached to name-brands that enjoy living off of reputation and not quality. These examples are only a few of the impulsive spending habits that can afflict us. And impulsive spending leads to predictable financial problems.
Jesus had a lot to say about money; and Jesus had a lot to say because finances can not only ruin our eternal life, it can ruin our temporary one too!
“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:11-12)
Oh, that was alliteration overload.