wisdom

The Spirit of God is Always Speaking

“‘Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.’ When he said this, he called out, ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.’ ” – Luke 8:8 Yesterday, we discussed how God communicates with us through our spiritual antennas. The spirit of God is always speaking and you can catch it if you tune in. The above verse is part of a parable where Jesus said that a sower (God) throws seeds almost carelessly everywhere. Guess what He says those seeds are? The seeds are words! Luke 8:5-8 describes the types of soil and harvest of those seeds. “…some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seeds fell among thorns, which

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Words Are a Big Deal

“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” – Acts 20:32 If you want to become the kind of person you were born to be, here’s something to think about: Words form the foundation of your life, so it’s important to consider what kind of words you want to surround yourself with. Words are a big deal, aren’t they? As a pastor, there are certain words that I cannot say from the pulpit. If I did, I would be defrocked and lose my job. Each of us has a responsibility to be accountable for the words we speak, and that’s a good thing. I believe there are certain words that I say every week that change people’s lives for the better, and that’s a positive thing. Words are powerful.

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Your Words are Powerful

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” – Proverbs 31:26 We continue to explore the value and power of words. When you use the right kind of language in organizations, your team’s morale and value stays high! When I went on humanitarian and missionary trips in high school and college, there were always important rules around words. Many Americans and others take comforts for granted, such as air conditioning, an abundance of food, cars, and technology. It’s easy for a westernized American to be disgruntled in a non-developed country when they don’t have access to their everyday conveniences. This is why the rules we had in place for our teams proved valuable! One of the rules was “Not to state the obvious.” If it’s hot outside, don’t say, “It’s hot outside.” If the food doesn’t taste good, don’t say, “The food doesn’t taste good.” If you

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Heavenly Treasures

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21 As we continue to explore Jesus’ perspective on treasures, I want to pose a question. What kind of heavenly treasures should we store or build up? We could easily compile an extensive list, but I will share just a few. What about manners? Good manners are a heavenly treasure! I remember at 15 years old, I had this radical change in my life when I became a believer. On one occasion, I was rude to my older sister because she took too long in the bathroom getting ready for school. I acknowledged my wrongdoing and told her, “The Bible says love is not rude. I’m sorry.” Then I hugged her. We can always err on the side of good manners! We add to the list of Godly treasures: confidence, the ability to lead, make crucial decisions,

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Perseverance

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4 I love the word perseverance. Defined as “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success,” I believe this powerful character trait is of utmost importance as we stand on the threshold of a new year. Though the verses above may be familiar to you, there’s something in them Hannah pointed out to me that I think is very significant. Look at the phrase, “let perseverance finish its work.” Did you notice that it’s passive? In other words, without interference, perseverance will have its way in your life, and you will get to where you’re supposed to be. But why would you not

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Wisdom’s Framework

“He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” – Isaiah 33:6 Even though he was in the thick of trials and up to his ears with problems, King Solomon recognized that there would be more value in understanding how to deal with them than if they disappeared. This is an excellent frame of mind to maintain as we enter the new year.  It’s fascinating to me that God not only honored the wise king’s request for wisdom, He assured him that he would have more of it than anyone else on earth. Beyond that, He promised that all the things he wanted but hadn’t asked for would be added to him — wealth, honor, and a long life. I believe this is because the Lord knew that if his

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The Greatest Treasure

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’ ” – 1 Kings 3:5 Yesterday, we looked at how King Solomon sought the Lord first when he was faced with overwhelming challenges and obstacles. Today, I want to look at God’s response.  It’s interesting that Solomon gave 1,000 choice offerings to the Lord at Gibeon and then went back to his tent. The Bible doesn’t tell us what else happened at that special place or if anything transpired in between, but one thing is certain — the King’s reverence got the Lord’s attention. In the middle of the night, God appeared to the novice ruler in a dream and offered to give him whatever he wanted. I don’t know about you, but if the Almighty asked me this question, I can think of a

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Jesus’ Birth Revealed to Shepherds

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.’ “ – Luke 2:8-10 I think it’s incredible that the birth of Jesus was revealed to shepherds! At the time of Jesus’ birth, so many amazing men and women of God were available to reveal Jesus’ impending arrival. Some were great rabbis and sages who wrote the Talmud, including Hillel, a Jewish scholar. He was a foremost master of biblical commentary and interpreter of Jewish tradition. There were also many high priests of the temple around. The Zealots were ready to lay down their lives for Israel, and

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The Art of Being Unoffendable

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” – Proverbs 19:11 If you’re looking for a superpower to achieve great things in life, here’s one: become unoffendable. As we continue examining the woman of great faith found in Matthew Chapter 15, we can see that she was unoffendable! This woman made a scene that became embarrassing to the disciples of Jesus. In desperation, she was begging loudly for Jesus to heal her daughter. His disciples urged Him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” This mother cared more about receiving her miracle than her ego. One commentator of this passage stated: “She was too desperate to take offense.” How desperate are you to receive answers from the Lord? How crucial is it for you to achieve that dream or goal laid before you? Do you want it so bad that you

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Connected to Others

“Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you—better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.” – Proverbs 27:10 Today we will begin a short series examining three cultural keys, and when you add these to your life, you will never be the same! The first key: As people, we should be linked; linked in and connected to others. We must understand the significance that other people bring to our lives. Have you ever questioned how some individuals get to be in positions of power? How does this happen when they seem intellectually challenged from our viewpoint? The answer lies in the fact that they understand the importance of reciprocity and the power of being linked. The Bible emphasizes this wisdom of connecting in the Book of Proverbs. We are encouraged not to let go

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