What We Can Learn From The Wisdom Of God
One thing that is lacking in this world is the wisdom of God. What can one study, or read to obtain God’s wisdom? Please read the verses listed below carefully and be ready to make some applications.
- “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
- “I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (Psalm 119:16).
- “Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34).
- “May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame” (Psalm 119:80).
- “O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies: for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.” (Psalm 119:97-100).
- “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).
After reading these six verses, it ought to be apparent that God’s wisdom has been revealed to us in the written word. Further, if we wish to have God’s wisdom, then it needs to be remembered daily. In the verses above, we see that David realized that the wisdom that God gives us needs to be remembered at all times (Ps. 119:11, 16). In fact, the first psalm shows that the righteous will gladly meditate in God’s law at all times (Ps. 1:2). The plea to remember God’s wisdom is not a man-made thing, for Jesus showed us that by remembering God’s word, we can defeat Satan (Matt. 4:1-11; I Pet. 2:21-22).
Further, David understood that he was not to be ashamed of the wisdom of God (Ps. 119:80). Sadly, there are folks in this world who make it seem like a shameful thing to have knowledge of the word of God. Why do some act like this? God’s word does not produce shame in our lives. God teaches us that we should not be ashamed of knowing His word and applying His word to our lives (Ps. 119:80; II Tim. 2:15).
In reading those six passages above, please notice that it is not enough simply to “know” God’s wisdom, but it is necessary to APPLY what we learn. In other words, we need to obey God’s wisdom. Jesus taught that the wise man not only hears His word but OBEYS it as well (Matt. 7:24-27). What a tragedy to see people who know what to do to please God, and refuse to do it! Let us decide that we will meditate and study God’s wisdom, and then make applications to our lives.
Finally, God’s word has the ability to make man wise when we learn and obey. Regardless of the wisdom the world may proclaim, God’s wisdom makes us wiser than the world (Ps. 119:97-100; Isa. 55:8-9). God looks on the world’s wisdom as foolishness that passes away (I Cor. 1:18-21; II Jn. 2:17). What interests us – man’s wisdom or God’s? Let us take heed to God’s wisdom as long as we live!
…According To All The Lord Commanded”
God has always required obedience from His people. To prove this, let us read three passages in the Old Testament that teach us about obedience. “Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses; so they did” (Ex. 39:32). In the book of Numbers, we read, “Thus did the people of Israel; they did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses” (Num. 1:54). After dividing into 4 segments and camping around the tabernacle, Numbers 2:34 says, “Thus did the people of Israel. According to all that the LORD commanded Moses....” These three passages set the tone for our study. It is important that we understand their obedience because God demands no less of us today. Let us study three things that are required in order to live “according to all that the Lord commanded.”
First of all, please note that the people took action! In these three passages we cited, this is made very clear. If we ever plan on pleasing God, we must be active in His work! We will never please God without action. Only a fool would think that God does not want us to be active in His work. I do not say this lightly, for Jesus taught that action was the difference between the wise and the foolish in Matthew 7:24-27 (also Lk. 6:46-49). James also made a distinction between the hearer and the doer. The hearer deceived himself, while the doer was “blessed in his deed” (Jas. 1:22-25). Paul said, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). We do this by obeying “all that the Lord commanded.”
The next thing that we note is that these people did, “according to all the Lord commanded....” In other words, they obeyed the right source of authority – “the Lord”! God demands no less of us today. He commands us to “speak as the oracles of God” (I Pet. 4:11). Paul tells us, “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17). This means that everything we do must be done by His authority! When we obey the truth in these two passages, we will have learned a lesson that most of the world has not! Let us never go by what “seems” right (Prov. 14:12; Jer. 10:23). Let us always ask, “What saith the Scripture?” and then follow it (Rom. 4:3). This is what pleases God!
Finally, we see that these people obeyed completely! They left nothing out. In Exodus and Numbers, we see that the people did “all” God told them! Today, God demands our complete obedience as well. Jesus said only those who “do” the will of the Father will go to Heaven (Matt. 7:21; Rev. 22:14). He also promised eternal life to those who are obedient in John 8:51. In truth, one cannot be the friend of Christ without obedience (Jn. 14:15). As we continue to study, we see that Hebrews 11 lists those faith heroes who were obedient to God. Do we see the necessity of obedience, then? The apostle John teaches that fellowship with God will not come unless we are “abiding” in Christ’s doctrine (II Jn. 9). Therefore, let us remember that we must obey God’s word completely in order to have a home in Heaven!
Jesus’ Mother And His Brethren
In Matthew 12, our Lord stood before the people and taught great things to them. As He was teaching, one said, “Behold, your mother and your brethren stand outside, desiring to speak with you. But he replied to the man that told him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, is my brother, and sister, and mother’” (Matt. 12:47-50). In this passage, Jesus was making a point that would be indelibly marked on the peoples’ hearts from this time forward.
Christ was saying that he considered spiritual relationships more important than physical relationships. Though Christ loved His earthly family, He knew their acceptance was not as important as the acceptance of God (Matt. 10:35-37). Though Christ’s family wished to speak with Him, the people needed to know that earthly relationships paled in comparison with being in the right relationship with God!
Paul understood this and said that his family lineage and ancestry could give him reasons for boasting. However, he counted those as “loss” and “dung” so that he might win Christ (Phil. 3:7-8). Paul was a “Hebrew of the Hebrews,” but earthly ties and relationships meant nothing to him if it meant losing his eternal home (Phil. 3:13-14). Do we consider our eternal home more important than anything else?
Christ’s statement in Matthew 12 shows that man’s obedience to Christ means he can enjoy God’s blessings. Paul taught this to the Romans in Romans 8:16-17. How do we become children of God? By being born again (Jn. 3:3, 5)! This spiritual birth takes place after one has believed in Christ, repented of his sins, confessed Christ, and been baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:36-38). Jesus describes it as being “born of water and the spirit” (Jn. 3:5). Paul compares it to our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-4, 16-18). The book of Acts records several who followed this plan (Jews, Acts 2; Eunuch, Acts 8; Paul, Acts 22:16; Corinthians, Acts 18). When we do as the Lord says, we become spiritual heirs of the promise (I Pet. 1:4). How can we place anything before the Lord and His blessings? Christ taught on this occasion (Matt. 12:48-50) that nothing should come before the Lord!
Finally, Matthew 12:47-50 shows us that not everyone is in God’s family. Notice that when Jesus said certain ones were His “brother, and sister, and mother,” it was those who do “the will of my Father.” What of those who do not do the will of the Father? They have no relationship with Him! Jesus made it clear that “not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Therefore, doing the will of the Father is required for going to Heaven, as well as being a brother or sister of Christ. This is why we do not call just anyone “brother” or “sister” in that spiritual sense. Not everyone is Christ’s brother and sister (II Jn. 9-11). Christ’s “brother” and “sister,” those that will see Heaven, are those who live faithfully according to the will of the Father!
Are you in the family of God? Can Christ call you “brother” or “sister”? If not, do not delay from becoming a Christian while you still have the time to do so.
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Romans 16:16
“Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.” Paul ends the book of Romans by reminding the brethren to salute or greet each other with a “holy” kiss. This was widely practiced at this time, and expressed mutual love and respect for one another. Let this verse be a reminder to us that love for the brethren is vital. It needs to be an abiding thing. We all face hardships, but our brethren’s love can help us through those times and anticipate better days. How are we doing at encouraging our brethren? In times of controversy, or peace, let us make sure we are showing love for our brethren (Jn. 13:34-35).
– Jarrod Jacobs
Jesus Marveled At The People
It is not uncommon to marvel. We might marvel at a great feat of God or man. However, to think about the Son of God marveling at something merits our attention. It is twice recorded that Jesus marveled at men. The first time is in Matthew 8:5-10. “When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, ‘Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.’ And he said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ But the centurion replied, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes, and to another, Come, and he comes, and to my servant, Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, ‘Truly I say tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.’”
The second time we read about Jesus marveling is in Mark 6:1-6. “And he went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, and Joses, and of Judas, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.’ And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.”
As Jesus looks at us, does Jesus marvel at our belief or our unbelief? Faith is produced through hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17). Therefore, do we accept God’s word, or reject it? Do we believe what has been taught? Do we respect the man who stands before us and preaches the Truth, or do we want our “ears tickled” rather than the truth preached (II Tim. 4:2-4)? When reading articles like this, do you cast them aside, or do you sincerely read them and read the Scripture references with the intention of learning what the Bible says (Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:11)? Our answers to these kinds of questions reveal whether or not Jesus marvels at our belief or our unbelief.
Do we believe Jesus’ words when He says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:16)? Do we believe the words of Colossians 3:16 which say, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”? Do we believe the Bible when it teaches there is only one church mentioned in the Bible — the church of Christ (Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16)? Friends, the truth of God’s word must be believed and obeyed! When you leave this world, it will be too late. We only have here and now (II Cor. 6:2). Why will Jesus marvel at YOU?