Australia Ministry Trip (Sept 26-November 10, 2017)

Australia Ministry Trip (Sept 26-November 10, 2017)
From September 26 to November 10, 2017, my husband, daughter and I will be on a ministry trip in Australia and New Zealand. The places we will be visiting are shown on the map above - along with the dates in which we'll be in these places (and what we'll be doing while there). Please keep this ministry trip and all of us in your prayers! Blogs will appear daily throughout this time, as I have written them and scheduled them in advance. I welcome your comments - and enjoy them! Just know I will not have Internet access for much of this time. So, I will look forward to reading your responses upon my return. Thank you for your understanding! And please keep reading to complete the "Reading the Bible in a Year" challenge and blessing! I am very grateful to Claire for her faithful blog comments (please everyone - join her in sharing each day as a discussion blesses everyone so much more!) And I am thankful that Claire has graciously agreed to add a bit more into her daily comments during my time of absence. Please direct special comments or questions which require immediate responses to her (on this blog). Blessings as you continue your journey through God's Word this year!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - February 18, 2017

Today's Reading:

Hebrews 13

Exodus 18:1-19:25

Proverbs 8

Listen to the Bible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Wisdom... what is it really? In current popular opinion, it is often reduced to being nothing more than a higher level of intelligence. To demonstrate this, people have little sayings about it, like:

"intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but wisdom is knowing that you shouldn't put it in a fruit salad."

But, as Proverbs 8 plainly shows, wisdom is something which only comes exclusively from Almighty God.  It is because wisdom is an Attribute of the Creator, God, that wisdom was with Him during the Creation of all that He made...  And wisdom was present even before that, for wisdom (being an Attribute of God Himself) is Eternal:
Proverbs 8:23-30 "I (wisdom) was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet He had not made the earth... Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him."
Wisdom only, exclusively, comes from God.
James 1:5  "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given Him."
But not only are we encouraged to ask God to give us wisdom (for we do lack it), we are counseled to seek wisdom - pursue it even - for it is of more value than gold, silver, or even rubies (which are of greater value, carat-for-carat than diamonds).
Proverbs 8:11, 19-20  "For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.  My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.  I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment."
But how can we seek for wisdom? Solomon confessed that he sought for wisdom. But when the pursuit of wisdom became his focus, apart from God, Solomon lost his soul.
Ecclesiastes 1:13-14  "And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit."
Wisdom is not found apart from God. Wisdom and God are inextricably intertwined, for Wisdom in part of God's Character.  Wisdom is the opposite of our natural inclinations. It is (under the unction of the Spirit) "seeing and responding to life's situations from God's Frame of Reference". This is why the Fear of God is beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).

So how do we "Fear God", in order to grow in wisdom? 

1) When we fear God, we will not fear anyone or anything else - Deuteronomy 31:6

2) Fearing God involves being obedient to His Will and Commandments - Ecclesiastes 12:13

3) We will glorify and worship only God, when we fear Him - Revelation 14:7

Our level of wisdom grows proportionately to our love for and relationship with God.  The closer we are to Him and the more deeply we pursue Him, the more wisdom will be increased into our lives.

But, as Solomon did, so many pursue "wisdom" as an end in and of itself. They try to divorce wisdom from God, with many even disregarding God altogether.

But we may increase wisdom in our lives, not by departing from God, but by seeking Him first - and His righteousness. Then, and only then, may we grow in wisdom - manifesting in the following ways:
  • If we are wise, we will be soul-winners   

    Daniel 12:3  "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
  • If we are wise, we will choose friends who also value wisdom and love God 

Proverbs 13:20  "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
  • If we are wise, we will never seek for greater enlightenment in anything the devil has to offer.

Genesis 3:6  "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
There are beautiful things promised to those who pursue godly wisdom and holiness. One is long life. This blessing most specifically refers not just to a blessed life-span on earth - it applies most especially to the Promise of Eternal Life, where we will dwell for all Eternity with the Fountain of Wisdom:
Proverbs 9:8-11  "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased." 
Help me be a seeker, Yahweh,
A true follower of Your Light.
Bless me with Your Wisdom, Father.
Help me walk the Path of Right.

May I travel o'er the distance,
Hard or easy, near or far,
May I always do Your Will, Yah,
For my only God, You Are.

May I ever seek Your Face, Yah,
May Your Truth be All-in-All.
May I never leave Your Side, God,
Lest I lose Your Heavenly Call.

For Your Glory help me glimmer,
Amidst the darkness be a light!
May there be a Heavenly Harvest,
In souls saved from this dark night.

Yahweh, may I always seek You,
Like the Magi at Your Birth.
May I remember always, 
Of wisdom's Source and worth.