Sunday Meditation – Ingredients Of Godly Wisdom

Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding. – Proverbs 4:7

God is pleased with ‘wisdom’. Thus, we need to run after it earnestly. We need to seek and desire wisdom more than silver or gold. However, God’s idea of wisdom is totally different from the way this world functions. Being wise does not mean to be manipulative or cunning. You don’t have to get ahead of somebody to prove that you are wise.

True wisdom is to do what is right and just. Being wise is to seek goodness, always be honest and at the same time judge correctly.

Let’s take a look at what the word of God has to say about wisdom –

Fear of the Lord

Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord, and depart from evil. – Proverbs 3:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and discipline. – Proverbs 1:7

It says here not to be wise in one’s own eyes, but to fear God. Most of us think that we are very wise. We think that we can take care of our situations very well. Our decisions are influenced by people around us or what we think is the trend of the world. We like to follow the ways of the world. We easily ‘forget to fear the Lord’ and ‘listen to someone’ who tells us to lie or get fake certificates just to get a job done.

Knowledge of His Word

Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are always with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I understand more than the aged, because I obey your precepts. – Psalm 119: 98-100

The one who studies His word (The Bible) and obeys it is wiser than his teachers and elders. Yes, if we study the word of God and live our lives according to what we have learnt, we gain more wisdom and insight than any philosopher or learned teacher. God’s word is full of knowledge and light. It unveils everything. It quenches our spiritual minds.

Righteousness

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. – James 3:17-18

Godly wisdom is synonymous to righteousness. To attain Godly wisdom is to become gentle, peace-loving, merciful, impartial and honest.

Sound judgement

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise; making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore don’t be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Don’t get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. – Ephesians 5: 15-18

The days are evil. Yes, Satan is after us all the time. He is looking for an opportunity to destroy us. That is why, it is instructed to be careful and wise, and not do anything to get into sin. We display our wisdom with the kind of life we live. For example, it is advised not to get drunk on alcohol as it leads to foolishness and bad conduct.

Discipline and correction

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. – Ecclesiastes 7:5

Poverty and shame come to him who refuses discipline, but he who heeds correction shall be honored. – Proverbs 13: 18

It is very important to heed a valuable advice. There are times when we disregard someone’s good advice. We don’t like when someone corrects us. We get used to our indiscipline and don’t like to be reprimanded. But the wise thing is to heed such a rebuke and mend our ways in time.

Discerning and understanding

The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the cry of him who rules among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good. – Ecclesiastes 9:17-18

A scoffer seeks wisdom, and doesn’t find it, but knowledge comes easily to a discerning person. – Proverbs 14:6

Discernment is the most precious quality of wisdom. There are people who don’t do anything to harm anybody, but they fail to choose between right and wrong. They don’t filter things the way they should – what kind of friends to choose, whom to marry, and things like that.

If we have a good discerning ability and understanding, we will make right choices, and the right choices will produce lasting happiness.

Careful words

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. The tongue of the righteous is like choice silver. The heart of the wicked is of little worth. The lips of the righteous nourish many, but the foolish die for lack of understanding. – Proverbs 10: 19-21

Weigh your words! Your words have power. So use your power wisely. Don’t use your tongue to discourage or hurt somebody. Use it to encourage and build somebody.

Diligence

In all hard work there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. The crown of the wise is their riches, but the folly of fools crowns them with folly. – Proverbs 14:23-24

Wise people are diligent. Those who work hard receive their reward, but those who just talk get nothing. It’s pretty simple. So what is the wise thing to do?

Trusting God for everything

All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Now let the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators, stand up and save you from the things that will come on you. – Isaiah 47:13

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3: 5

Wise people rely on God totally. They don’t dishonor God by seeking advice from astrologers or stargazers, because it’s only God who saves! Wisdom is to trust God and wait for Him. When we allow God to do something in our lives, it is far superior to what we thought we could or should have done. Don’t you agree?

Sunday Meditation – The Right Way To God’s Word

Psalm 119:41-48

May your unfailing love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word. Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. I will always obey your law, forever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be ashamed. For I delight in your commandments, because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commandments, and I meditate on your decrees.

Notice the first sentence – May your unfailing love come to me. Just mull over it for a while and then proceed reading the rest of it. Now highlight the sentence – I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts – in your mind. It states clearly that God’s word is not to bound you, but to set you free.

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God’s commandments

God’s word holds God’s commands – His ordinances, statutes, laws, precepts and decrees. All of them mean the same thing – God’s word. There has to be a certain approach towards God’s word to be able to comprehend it the right way.

We need His Spirit to understand His word

A human mind cannot perceive what God wants to say. That’s when the Holy Spirit comes into the picture. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. (John 16:13) We need humility and truthfulness to hear from God. I can open my Bible and read a passage just like I read from any other book. I may like it or not. Let me put it this way – if I sit down to read the Bible just like any other book in the world, I will have opinions about it, I will understand it from my point of view, like it or dislike it. However, the Bible is not a book. Sure, it has pages, an index and chapters. It is still not a book. It is the WORD OF GOD. So it has to be read with a different approach.

How should I read my Bible?

If you read Psalm 119: 41-48 carefully, you will find there are quite a few ways to read the word of God.

Here they are –

Put hope in His laws. (verse 43)

Trust in His word. (verse 42)

Seek His precepts. (verse 45)

Speak of His statutes. (verse 46)

Delight in His commands. (verse 47)

Meditate on His decrees. (verse 48)

It should begin with seeking the truth about God. When we seek something, we are after it until we find it. We need to be intrigued about the word of God. We should be curious about what God is up to (not curious in a way to question God or the way He works). We should really be thirsty for what God has to say about this world, our lives, circumstances and the eternal life He has promised.

Now, as we begin to seek Him, we find Him and the truths that are hidden in His word – The Bible. Now we need to meditate on His word. We need to keep thinking about God’s promises and commandments (just the way we keep thinking about our work, shopping list, money or love).

As we meditate on His word, we also delight in His word. There are so many things to be upset about in our day-to-day lives, but God’s word has secrets to the continual joy of His Kingdom. To delight is to feel the assurance that His promises are true, unchanging and eternal.

When we know God through His word, we can put hope in Him. Yes, promises produce hope. It is not possible to be hopeless when you know God’s word.

Hope leads to faith. When we read his word and know the truth, we need to trust in His word. To trust is to believe without questioning or logic in what God has to say about life, people and this world in general. When we know that God is right, His ordinances are true and just, we simply need to place our trust in Him through His word.

Okay now, we seek, meditate, delight in, hope and trust in His laws, decrees, commands, statutes and precepts. Is there anything else that we need to do? Oh yes, we need to speak His word out! (We speak a lot of things in our everyday lives – lots of crap, actually.) God’s word needs to be spoken out too! God’s word is not just a good book to be read and kept aside on a shelf. It is a source of truth, holiness, wisdom, faith and power. When we extract something out of somewhere, we need to spread it out to allow it to grow.

If I had to put it simply, I’d say God’s commands are actually the key to our much desired happiness –joy and peace. It’s when we disobey or rebel against God, we lose our happiness.

Do you believe the word of God is a source of our happiness?

Working Out ‘My’ Salvation

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose. – Philippians 2: 12-13

If we are saved by Christ’s blood, what does it mean when it’s said “work out your salvation”? Is God’s grace not enough to save me? Do I still need to do something to be saved? Paul tells Philippians to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. His statement has a deep meaning. It is something that we need to take note of and put into practice. It is not a light statement!

God’s word often tells us not to fear, not to worry and not to be anxious. But Paul tells his fellowmen to fear and tremble! Most of the time, we worry about the things that only God can handle and vice versa. We are supposed to be worried about our own actions and deeds. What are we doing, saying and thinking?

Our righteous works are like filthy rags

It tells us clearly that we cannot earn our own salvation through our good works. It is Christ who saves.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. – Isaiah 64:6

Our righteous deeds are like filthy rags! Then what really do we need to do to work out our salvation? Christ has done His job – He came, He lived, He died and rose again. And according to God’s promise in John 3:16, anyone who believes in the name of Jesus is saved.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

So what is it to work out one’s salvation?

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. – Philippians 2: 14-16

Hold firmly to the word of God

What is it to hold the word of God firmly?

Obedience, of course. Doing what the word tells you is the basic step towards salvation. Rest everything falls into place. Now the question arises, what does the word tells you? There are so many commands given by God. Open the word of God and prepare a checklist, or you can simply follow the command that takes care of the rest – to love one another just like Christ loved the world. Sounds difficult, right? We can’t love that stupid colleague at work, that irritating relative and so on.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35

It’s interesting – Let’s just think about it for a minute – if we love one another how things would be around us? Would you steal, murder, rape or molest if you knew love?

Love in action

Loving is not a passive word. It’s an active word. To love is to care for a person – his or her well-being, emotions, state of mind, health, mental peace and happiness. If you really loved a person, you would take care and not say anything to hurt him or her. If you loved a person, you will not ruin his or her reputation by gossiping or twisting his/her words. To love means to purposely think purely about people around us – to encourage them about all the good things, share in their joys, not to harm them in any manner, not to do anything that could hurt them physically, mentally or emotionally.

Loving one another is not just about helping on occasions or lending money in need. Christ-like love has to be compassionate to begin with, and then gentle, faithful, forgiving and pure. It is easier to love people around us if we look at Christ and try to imitate Him.

Christ never gossiped, ridiculed, envied or abused anybody. He never played favourites. He did not treat people according to their status in the society or how one appeared. He was ready to befriend anybody with a pure heart.

Faith followed by obedience

So what does working out one’s salvation mean? Believing in the name of Jesus is the first step. Next is to follow Him. You wouldn’t just believe in any name unless you agree. It’s only through faith and agreement with Christ that we believe in Him. If we didn’t consider Him God’s Son, we wouldn’t believe in Him either. We know deep down in our hearts that Christ is truthful. We know that He is sinless, thus, we believe in whatever He’s said in His word.

So if we believe in Christ, why wouldn’t we do as He says?

Each one of us has to work out our own salvation – we have to live according to the word. We have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling – we need to be careful that we don’t get carried away in our worldly ways. We need to be firm. We need to be conscious about displaying Christ’s love through our talks, words, choices, behaviour and attitude. Even if everybody is lying, we have to be honest. Even if it is the world’s way to crack obscene jokes, to abuse, to ridicule, to criticize, to manipulate and to pull somebody down, we have to be firm and not follow the world’s ways because Christ did not teach us to do so.

How do you interpret ‘working out one’s salvation’?