Saturday, May 31, 2008


Wisdom has been a desired attribute from the beginning of time. One of the problems is in thinking that we are wise or wiser than someone else is. The Old Testament writers cautioned against that sort of thinking…

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes

And clever in their own sight! Isaiah 5:21 (NASB)

Do not be wise in your own eyes;

Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

8 It will be healing to your body

And refreshment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:7-8 (NASB)

The answer to seeking wisdom is looking in the right place with the right tools. The writer of Proverbs tells us where to look…

For the LORD gives wisdom,

and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)

The Bible is one way that God has revealed His knowledge and understanding to us. Another way is His Spirit, the Holy Spirit that believers in Jesus Christ receive…

10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We 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.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12 (NIV)

If we are to have true wisdom, we must have God’s Spirit living in us. The only way to do that is to confess our inadequacies and accept Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf … accept Him as our, as your, Lord and Savior.


Friday, May 30, 2008


Some of you have heard (and some have said), “If you hang out with the wrong crowd, you’re going to get in trouble.” Those of you that are young no doubt hear that from your parents. Those of you who are parents have probably said that to your children.

Is that a valid statement? Where did that idea originate? In the Old Testament, it can be found in the Book of Proverbs…

He who walks with the wise grows wise,

but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)

Young people who obey the law are wise;

those with wild friends bring shame to their parents. Proverbs 28:7 (NLT)

In the New Testament, the same idea is found in Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB)

The real answer is relying on God to help us choose those we call friend…Making God and His desires for our life the highest priority. King David put it this way…

114 You are my refuge and my shield;

I have put my hope in your word.

115 Away from me, you evildoers,

that I may keep the commands of my God!

Psalms 119:114-115 (NIV)

Jesus said it like this…

You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:14 (NLT)

How about you, would you like to be friends with the God of all Creation and let Him guide your life? All you need to do is call on the name of Jesus and trust Him as your Savior. Keep in mind, Jesus is the only friend that will never disappoint you or betray you.


Thursday, May 29, 2008


The English language is constantly changing. Some words have taken on different meanings like the word “sick” that used to mean that you weren’t in good health and now means (at least for some) that something is exceptionally good. That’s the contemporary version of what happened to the word “bad” when I was younger.

I won’t get into the discussion about how this may be a method of causing things that are bad and sick to become normal and accepted. What I want to share with you is how some phrases or combination of words can become tired and cause us to avoid them even though they may speak of something good.

The term “Jesus Freak” started out to be a negative word against young Christians during the 1960’s and 70’s. Those young believers typically used and gave out a modern translation of the bible called “Good News for Modern Man.” It has vacillated back and forth as meaning something good (by those who embrace the label) and bad, even to this day.

The term “born again” is another label that has an interesting past. It is often used to make fun of conservative people who have religious convictions that cause them to “stand out” from others. Actually, that’s what we that call ourselves Christians are supposed to do, but that’s another discussion.

Here’s where the term came from originally…

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (NASB)

The word translated “again” is derived from the Greek word, anōthen, which means…

1) from above, from a higher place

1a) of things which come from heaven or God

2) from the first, from the beginning, from the very first

3) anew, over again

Six of the fourteen occurrences of this word are translated “above” while three others are translated, “again.” Two of those are found in the third chapter of the Gospel of John. Three times, it is translated “top” and one time apiece for “first” and “beginning.”

Jesus clarifies what He is speaking about if you read on.

5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:5-7 (NASB)

So, while “again” works here, it is definitely “from above” as the Spirit of God is from above. We must be born again, from above!

The next time someone uses “born again” as a derogatory term, tell them what it really means…and…don’t forget to act like you were born again from above…from a powerful miracle of God the Father, through His Son Jesus Christ with the power and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Do you have a specific task in life that you just know you are called to do? Perhaps you are a plumber, a carpenter or a schoolteacher and you KNOW that you were set apart from others to do that particular thing.

Those of us that identify with Jesus Christ as our Savior have also been set apart. Jesus, in a prayer to God the Father said,

17 Sanctify them by the truth;

Your word is truth. John 17:17 (HCSB)

The word “sanctify” is from the Greek word, hagiazō, meaning to make holy, to separate from profane things and dedicate to God. It also means, to purify; to cleanse externally; to purify by expiation or free from the guilt of sin and to purify internally by renewing of the soul.

This happens by or through the truth. What is truth? That word has been maligned in our society today to the point where some say it means different things for different people.

However, the Greek word here is aletheia and means, “what is true in any matter under consideration” (Thayer’s Greek Dictionary). The scriptures say that…

The law is truth – Ps 119:142

Jesus is the truth – John 14:6

Here in John 17:17 the term translated “word” is logos. The word “logos” is used to describe Jesus in the very beginning of the book of John where we read,

1 In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

2 He was with God in the beginning.

3 All things were created through Him,

and apart from Him not one thing was created

that has been created.

14 The Word became flesh

and took up residence among us.

We observed His glory,

the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,

full of grace and truth.

John 1:1-3, 14 (HCSB)

If you claim Jesus as your Savior, you have been separated from the rest of the world and are being made holy through the Holy Spirit of Christ that lives in you and by the active, living Word of God.

There IS such a thing as truth. Seek it out. Read the Word (the Bible). Pray to Jesus. The Lord God Almighty has separated you out from among others and set you apart to serve Him.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Perception is an interesting phenomenon. The Encarta Dictionary says it is, “the process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation.” Yet, each of us perceives things slightly differently depending on many factors such as how we were raised, our life experiences and many other variables.

See what you think about this story that Nathan, the prophet told David, the king…

Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said,

“There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor.

2 “The rich man had a great many flocks and herds.

3 “But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb

Which he bought and nourished;

And it grew up together with him and his children.

It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom,

And was like a daughter to him.

4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man,

And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd,

To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him;

Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.

Nathan had told David this story after David had taken another man’s wife, got her pregnant and then had the husband killed in battle. Now read David’s reaction to Nathan’s story…

5Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. 6“He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.”

2 Samuel 12:1-6 (NASB)

Nathan then told David that the story was about him. That he had taken what belonged to another even though God had already showered him with many wives, much wealth and victory in battle.

David finally saw what he was talking about and admitted that he had sinned against God.

Many of us are like that…we only see our side of the story instead of trying to look at the big picture from other points of view. Seeing things only from our own perspective is often the cause of many heartaches, disappointments and misunderstandings.

What’s the answer? Seek God’s perspective. Ask Him to help you understand the bigger picture that you may not be able to see. Then thank Him in advance for His guidance and direction. God is faithful. He knows the intentions of your heart and will reward you for your honesty with Him.


Sunday, May 25, 2008


A wise person thinks a lot about death,

while a fool thinks only about having a good time.

Ecclesiastes 7:4 (NLT)

Hmm…why does thinking about death make you wise?


Well, perhaps we may realize how short life is or can be. Yesterday there was a funeral for a twenty-one year old young woman. Last night I learned that an eighteen year old was in a serious accident, was in a coma and had flat-lined several times.

There are no guarantees for the length of life that we live. So that should cause us to consider HOW we live the life that we are given…on a day-to-day basis. That would make us wise.

I wore a t-shirt last night from a Dare2Share event I had taken my youth group to a couple of years ago. Across the front is written in large caps, “LOSER.” Believe me that drew attention. Whenever somebody would read it aloud, I had them read the back, which had Jesus’ words from Matthew 10:39

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (NIV)

Why did I bring that up? Because, “losing our life” (as one girl last night put it) is giving up being selfish and just living for ourselves. In other words, it clarifies the second half of today’s verse…a fool thinks only about having a good time.

If we are to be wise, we will put aside our personal desires and instead plug in God’s desires for our lives. We will ask the wise questions…What does God want me to do with the short time that I have on this earth? What does He want me to do today?