Wisdom

I’m supposed to be wise?

It takes wisdom to get through life, to overcome life’s difficulties and problems. We often think wisdom is just about these things and getting wisdom takes a lifetime, something we learn with each passing day. Well to a point it is, it does take time to learn wisdom for living and dealing with life’s issues not least of all in our dealings with others. We would like others to think us wise even if we are not. We link stupidity with the lack of wisdom and in a lot of cases it is justified. I say we are stupid if we don’t take heed of having a lack of wisdom. We are stupid if we don’t seek after it but what is wisdom anyway and how do we get it?

Shirley Anne

Four  ways to Get Wisdom (Proverbs 9:10)

Habit: Developing Wisdom

Wisdom is a capacity of the mind that allows us to understand life from God’s perspective. Throughout the book of Proverbs, Solomon encourages us to “get wisdom” (Proverbs 4:5). He says those who get wisdom love life (see 19:8); that it’s better to get wisdom than gold (see 16:16); and that those who get wisdom find life and receive favour from the Lord (see 8:32–35).

Yet in Ecclesiastes 7:23–24 Solomon also makes clear that getting wisdom is a challenging process: “ ‘I am determined to be wise’—but this was beyond me. Whatever exists is far off and most profound—who can discover it?”

Fortunately, Scripture provides us instruction in this area. Here are four Biblical instructions for how to get wisdom:

1. Fear God. Solomon says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (see Proverbs 9:10). But how should we fear God? Philipp Melanchthon, a collaborator of Martin Luther, discussed what it means to fear God by contrasting filial fear with servile fear. Filial fear is the type of respect and love a child has for a parent, a fear of offending the one they most adore and trust. In contrast, servile fear is the kind of fear that a prisoner has for his jailer or executioner.*

2. Desire wisdom. The second step to getting wisdom is to desire it with all our heart. As Solomon says, we must “look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure” (Proverbs 2:4).

3. Pray for wisdom. As James tell us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).

4. Study God’s Word. The fourth step in getting wisdom is studying and meditating on God’s Word (see Psalm 19:7). We shouldn’t rely merely on our own understanding, though, but lean on the wisdom and insight produced by Christians throughout the church’s history.

PRACTICAL TAKEAWAY: To get wisdom we must fear God, study his Word and prayer-fully desire to understand life from God’s perspective.

* R. C. Sproul, “What Does It Mean to Fear God?” Ligonier Ministries, accessed January 5, 2015, http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-does-it-mean-fear-god/

Taken from NIV Lifehacks Bible

Shirley Anne

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Wisdom….what is it?

What Is Wisdom? (Proverbs 9:10–12)

English: Scroll of the Book of Proverbs
Scroll of the Book of Proverbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We often think of wisdom as intelligence, but we would be mistaken to bring that definition to this literature. When we look at the vast number of topics covered under the heading of “wisdom,” it is easy to despair of finding common ground, for the heading covers artisan skills, scientific knowledge, etiquette, philosophy, psychology, politics, sociology and jurisprudence, just to name a few. Furthermore, the text insists on more than one occasion that the “fear of the Lord” is the beginning or foundation of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; 15:33). Does this suggest that none of those disciplines could be successfully engaged without fear of the Lord?
As we consider the way that people thought in the ancient world, perhaps we can best capture the Biblical way of understanding all of this by thinking in terms of worldview integration. In the ancient world, including Israel, order was an important value. Creation brought order to the cosmos; law brought order to society; etiquette brought order to human relationships; politics brought order to governance and authority. Ancient wisdom can then be understood as the pursuit of understanding and preserving order in the world. Wisdom is present when order is perceived, pursued and preserved. The people of the day wanted their worldview to fit together like a puzzle—fully integrated, with each piece placed in proper relation to the others.
They saw the fear of the Lord as the keystone to this integration process. To “fear the Lord” means to take his person and role seriously. Order in the cosmos could only be understood through acknowledgment of the One who brought order. Order could only be preserved in society and in life by understanding God’s requirements and expectations. In this way, wisdom can be seen to transcend the basic knowledge or skill related to particular disciplines.
A fool (or any of the other synonyms used to describe such a person) was one who brought disorder into any of the pertinent realms by their behaviour or thinking. Furthermore, a fool would be one who did not fear the Lord and therefore tried to find coherence in something or someone else—usually themselves.

Taken from NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

Shirley Anne

Are you wise?

What Is Wisdom? (Proverbs 9:10–12)

English: Scroll of the Book of Proverbs
Scroll of the Book of Proverbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We often think of wisdom as intelligence, but we would be mistaken to bring that definition to this literature. When we look at the vast number of topics covered under the heading of “wisdom,” it is easy to despair of finding common ground, for the heading covers artisan skills, scientific knowledge, etiquette, philosophy, psychology, politics, sociology and jurisprudence, just to name a few. Furthermore, the text insists on more than one occasion that the “fear of the Lord” is the beginning or foundation of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; 15:33). Does this suggest that none of those disciplines could be successfully engaged without fear of the Lord?
As we consider the way that people thought in the ancient world, perhaps we can best capture the Biblical way of understanding all of this by thinking in terms of worldview integration. In the ancient world, including Israel, order was an important value. Creation brought order to the cosmos; law brought order to society; etiquette brought order to human relationships; politics brought order to governance and authority. Ancient wisdom can then be understood as the pursuit of understanding and preserving order in the world. Wisdom is present when order is perceived, pursued and preserved. The people of the day wanted their worldview to fit together like a puzzle—fully integrated, with each piece placed in proper relation to the others.
They saw the fear of the Lord as the keystone to this integration process. To “fear the Lord” means to take his person and role seriously. Order in the cosmos could only be understood through acknowledgment of the One who brought order. Order could only be preserved in society and in life by understanding God’s requirements and expectations. In this way, wisdom can be seen to transcend the basic knowledge or skill related to particular disciplines.
A fool (or any of the other synonyms used to describe such a person) was one who brought disorder into any of the pertinent realms by their behavior or thinking. Furthermore, a fool would be one who did not fear the Lord and therefore tried to find coherence in something or someone else—usually themselves.
Taken from NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

So fear of God doesn’t mean being frightened of God, indeed if we have a relationship with God there should be no sense of fear. For anyone not having a relationship with God there is no fear in their heart and wisdom will hold for them a completely different meaning.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
    To him belongs eternal praise. (Psalm 111:10)

Shirley Anne

What a sad world

Revelation 13:16-18 (NIV)

16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

The Beast Inside
The Beast Inside (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I happened to have seen an advertisement on the television during a program I had been watching and it was in regard to a new model of mobile phone by manufacturer ‘Samsung‘. Like most adverts use of subtleties, suggestions and general assumptions were used to convey the idea that we, the public, wanted what was advertised. Throughout the advert a song was being played, the words of which suggested we did, ‘Give them what they want’……Well maybe I am the odd one out here but that suggestion is a subtle way of attempting us to believe that we want the latest product because everyone else wants one and I am not taking the bait. In fact I don’t like the kind of technology that one day threatens to run our lives. If you don’t believe that then just look around and see how many people are joined at the hip to their ‘smart’ phones. No-one takes any notice of their surroundings anymore, their eyes are glued to their little (or big) screens and their ears are being pumped whatever sounds they are tuned into. This is only the beginning, technology is only in its infancy despite what has been achieved so far. You can be sure more is to come. In relation to the Bible verses above one day technology will dispense with the need to carry cash, cards (even those with RFID chips) or smart phones to make purchases. The technology will be inside us! Those who allow it that is. However, as the verses state, nothing will be purchasable without it! We will be under the control of others………….Okay it might not happen during our own lifetime but there again the technology is already here and in some countries people really do have RFID chips implanted. Imagine what the world would be and will be like when everyone has implanted technology………

Read the Book of Revelation. It is the last book in The Bible for a reason……

Shirley Anne

 

Nothing doing

Yesterday's Dreams (Four Tops album)
Yesterday’s Dreams (Four Tops album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I was available for work as long as it didn’t involve some heavy moving. Unfortunately up until this moment on Thursday evening I haven’t been offered anything I wanted to take on. Oh I got plenty of calls from time wasters who didn’t know what they wanted when they called me and others who wanted me to do work that I don’t normally take on like repairing washing machines, fridges, cookers and such. Long ago I did do that sort of work but since becoming self-employed some eighteen years ago and even longer ago than that I ceased being involved in it. When people call me they don’t read the advert properly first so I often have to direct them to electricians who specialise in that work. I wouldn’t mind so much but these specialists do have adverts that specify what they do and their adverts are always printed close to the rest of us electricians so there isn’t really an excuse to call the wrong person. It may be a blessing in disguise that I am not getting the work at the moment for it is giving me more time for my back problem to improve, which it is doing by the way. It has been a lovely day today, very sunny but spoiled a little by the strong breeze. Apart from pottering about in the garden from time to time I have remained indoors. I mentioned yesterday that I intended to dine out but gave up on the idea thinking that I might have gone today instead. When I had the opportunity again today I decided I couldn’t be bothered and stayed at home instead. There is always tomorrow! That pretty much says it all, I just cannot be bothered sometimes. For readers who have been with me for a couple of years they will know that I get these moments from time to time whereby I just cannot be bothered to do things, even if I like doing them! Part of the reason for that attitude is a result of my present relationship with E and part of it is simply just down to me. My dreams and aspirations have changed so much over the last few years and I no longer find interest in many of the things I once did. It may be down to my age of course but it is also the realisation that everything in the material world has little interest for me and I think to myself ‘What is the point of it all’? Everyone around me is rushing here and there, buying this and that, moving house and working their socks off to pay for it all. It is a chasing after the wind and totally pointless. Yes, in a way I am glad to be able to rest and take the time to reflect on life.

Shirley Anne

 

Think you are clever?

Three wise monkeys at Toshogu, Nikko, Tochigi ...
Three wise monkeys at Toshogu, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are some very clever people in this world, that is a fact but how clever is clever? It is one thing to be clever but a different one to be wise. The two are not necessarily linked. Would you rather be clever or wise? The probable answer to that will be ‘both’ and why not? However wisdom is the greater and to be sought above all things. How does one obtain wisdom? With age? Not necessarily for wisdom can be gained without having to grow old and gain experience. It depends on the individual. It tells us in Scripture that

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

And if you want wisdom………

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Wisdom is mentioned 219 times in The Bible. We are meant to seek it for ourselves. There is however something to be observed……..we should not think that we are wise because we are wise or intelligent because we are intelligent, clever because we may be that. In all things we should be and remain humble for Scripture also tells us………..

1 Corinthians 1:18-20

Christ crucified is God’s power and wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Real wisdom is found in the knowledge of God. Real intelligence is found in the act of seeking Him and just thinking that you are clever comes to nothing in the end. You are not as clever as you think you are.

Shirley Anne

How wise are you?

English: Scroll of the Book of Proverbs
Scroll of the Book of Proverbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember when young people telling me to get wise. They meant gain an understanding. Well what is wisdom anyway? It is gaining an understanding but not just the understanding, it is more than that. We may gain an understanding about something yet take no notice or action on what we learn. In my line of work I need not only an understanding but more importantly how to implement the knowledge gained. It is the same for anything. What is the use in knowing what is right then doing the opposite? If we use our knowledge wisely we gain from it. If we don’t we lose out. For those who don’t know, there is a book in the Bible entitled ‘Proverbs‘ and it speaks about wisdom. The things spoken about may seem a little basic and obvious to some but when all is considered there are many who have ignored the wisdom of its messages and have suffered accordingly. There is a right and a wrong path to take in life and sadly many choose the wrong path because they ignored sound advice. We can learn to be wise through our experiences but doesn’t it make sense to learn the wisdom first?

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Shirley Anne

Always Do What’s Right

TODAY’S WORD FOR TODAY

 

Always Do What’s Right

 

‘…Hold fast what is good.’

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Jn 14:6-11, Acts 4:8-12, Acts 16:22-34 , Mt 1:18-21

I wanted to post this immediately I had read it a few days ago but I had so many posts already scheduled I left off doing it. It is one of the daily ‘Word for today’ messages I receive through an email subscription from United Christian Broadcasters ( http://www.ucb.co.uk ). I think it is fair to say the message is not far off the mark!

Shirley Anne

 

Don’t think it can’t or won’t happen

It Can Happen Here^ Unless We Keep 'Em Firing^...
It Can Happen Here
This Can't Happen Here
This Can’t Happen Here

When I was young my father would tell me certain things at the end of which he would add, ‘Just mark my words’. He wasn’t often wrong for many of the things he said came true. Wisdom is the reserve of those older and more experienced than ourselves but when young we often do not appreciate that fact. The younger generation think they know all the answers and it is only as they grow and gain experience in life do they begin to see things in a more informed way. Many though do not heed the words of the wise and become or remain uninformed on many of life’s issues. They grow old, steadfast and unswerving because of their refusal to listen and take note. On 1 December I posted an article and video about the advancement of radical Islam in the USA, here in the UK and probably in many other countries around the world too. An attitude of indifference mostly caused by the fact that many people today do not believe in God or follow a religion at all. For many years now I have followed closely the affairs of the world with respect to the prophecies written in The Bible. I am a firm believer in prophecy, I can see where this world is headed and how the events that happen are laying the foundation to troubled times ahead, events which will happen despite any human effort to alleviate the inevitability. Being forewarned is being forearmed and ready. As a Bible believing Christian I am only too aware of the danger humankind is going to be faced with in the years ahead. I may be fortunate to escape the coming wrath, I do not know, no-one does. Much of prophecy is centred around The Holy Land, modern-day Israel and those who have eyes to see and ears to hear must surely be well aware of what is happening there. The worst is yet to come though. Ever since the nation of Israel was reformed in 1948 there has been unrest in the area and it was just the same thousands of years ago. The greatest threat to Israel today is the advancement of Islam but Islam is a conquering faith as well as a religion. The sole aim of Islam is to take the world by force, not by love or persuasion for those outside Islam are considered infidels and deserve death unless they convert. What kind of god promotes this attitude? To that end the proponents of Islam emigrate to foreign lands and begin to live there slowly growing in number and when there are enough of them begin to make their voices heard. Soon they have infiltrated local authorities and governments to become upstanding members of society who fight for the rights and privileges of their Muslim brethren. Many towns in the UK are overflowing with Muslims, so much so that many other ethnic groups leave to live somewhere else. Eventually our Muslim friends become the majority in our land and then our own rights will come under threat. Further down-line the country becomes an Islamic state with all it entails. I heard on the news a couple of days ago that proposals have been submitted to the East London authorities to erect a huge mosque in the area. Now this country once had no mosques but now they are numerous. Some church buildings have been taken over and used as mosques because the local people seemingly were not interested in going to church. Need I say more? This new mosque, if built, would be four times larger than St Paul’s Cathedral. That fact alone should speak volumes. I would hate to be the one to say, ‘I told you so’ but as my old dad used to say ‘Just mark my words’.

Shirley Anne

Promises

English: ELIYAH VISITS KING AHAB AND THE BA'AL...
English: ELIYAH VISITS KING AHAB AND THE BA’AL PROPHETS 1 MELAKIM 21 KINGS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deuteronomy 4:7

What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?

God is only a prayer away for those who believe in Him.There is but one God, one Creator, one deliverer, one salvation. He is the only God, there are none beside Him. Other nations have their ‘gods’ but no other god answers prayer, no other god is the Creator of all mankind, of all Creation. All other ‘gods’ are false, mere idols and can do nothing. Which other god can perform miracles, can give us the promise of salvation and eternal life? What benefit is there in a false god? What benefit is there in false religion, religion that promises nothing? There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun and to one of them you will go. Pray to your false god and see if you get a response.

Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18)

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, ‘Is that you, you troubler of Israel?’

18 ‘I have not made trouble for Israel,’ Elijah replied. ‘But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.’

20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.’

But the people said nothing.

22 Then Elijah said to them, ‘I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire – he is God.’

Then all the people said, ‘What you say is good.’

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, ‘Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.’ 26 So they took the bull that was given to them and prepared it.

Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. ‘Baal, answer us!’ they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. ‘Shout louder!’ he said. ‘Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or travelling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.’ 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come here to me.’ They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, ‘Your name shall be Israel.’ 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench round it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, ‘Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.’

34 ‘Do it again,’ he said, and they did it again.

‘Do it a third time,’ he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: ‘Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.’

38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The Lord – he is God! The Lord – he is God!’

40 Then Elijah commanded them, ‘Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!’ They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.

No other God answers, no other god exists that’s why! But in spite of what God does, in spite of what He says, people will still reject Him, they will still persist believing in falsehood.

The Lord is God

32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.

39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.

These are the words written down in Scripture reminding the Israelites of their inheritance, what God had done for them and the promises he made to them and their descendants from generation to generation. These are the same promises for all those who put their trust and their faith in God. God is true to His word, He is a faithful God and His promises are true.  

Shirley Anne