Week 22 May 26 - June 2, 2018

There are many treasures that can be both given and received through a family’s earthly inheritance, but none is more important than godly wisdom.

That is why King Solomon paints us a portrait in Proverbs 2:1-8 of an old man sitting a child on his lap to hand down the mantle of wisdom.

In this passage, we see the precious exchange of Spirit-inspired truth that a father has acquired through life experience being passed down to the next generation so the family legacy could continue. And it is through this exchange that we learn five requirements each of us must meet, if we want to know the way to achieving godly wisdom in our lives.  

First, we learn from the wise old man that godly wisdom requires a teachable spirit. In verses 1-2, the father begins to instruct his child on the conditions that are necessary for growing in the wisdom of the Lord. He states, “My Son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commands with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom.” This opening statement immediately lets us know that there are certain attributes we must have if we are going to be teachable enough to receive wisdom from the Lord. We need to be ready to receive what God says, be willing to treasure in our minds what God says, and to keep our ears attentive to what He wants us to understand about what He has shared through His Word.  

Second, Godly wisdom requires a discerning heart. In the second part of verse two, the father instructs the son to make sure he is, “inclining your heart to understanding.” This means that we all must make sure we listen closely to the voice of God through Scripture, so our hearts can discern when another voice deceptively wants to take His place.

Godly wisdom requires a disciplined mind. In verses 3-4 the father reveals, “…yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures.” This statement shows us that there are active imperatives that we must pursue to have a mind that is properly disciplined for God’s purposes. We must call out for Godly wisdom, raise our voices to understand it, and seek it out like hidden treasure.

Also, godly wisdom requires a proper fear. In verse 5, the father reassures the son that if he does receive Godly wisdom “…then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” This fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom, because to fear God is to understand how holy and majestic He is, and when we understand God and believe in His Word we will have true knowledge that explains the reality that we live in.

Finally, we learn from the wise father that godly wisdom requires an upright character. Verses 6-8 conclude with the following revelation: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.” This teaches us that God wants to pour out His wisdom in abundance to those who are ready to receive it, but He will not share His treasure with those who will not use it to glorify Him with a character that reflects His holy standards.

So, as we pursue these five requirements for godly wisdom, we must remember one important thing: We are not primarily following principles, but we are following a person: Jesus Christ.  

Jesus is the wisdom of God in human flesh, and He met all of the five requirements that were listed above in Proverbs 2. He gave us the perfect example of a teachable spirit, a discerning heart, a disciplined mind, a proper fear of God, and an upright character through every stage of His life. Therefore, the way to Godly wisdom is found by following in the footsteps of Christ. If we are willing to repent of our sin and continually renew our faith in Him, He will help us meet those five requirements as He continues to recreate us into His holy image for all of eternity.

The Way to Godly Wisdom

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Dreaming of a Double Reward

The most famous and influential dream in human history is recorded in 1 Chronicles 1:7-13 and 1 Kings 3:5-15, where young Solomon meets with God shortly after being crowned king of Israel. In this dream God offers to grant any request Solomon makes, and instead of praying for riches or honor Solomon instead asks for wisdom to govern God's people. The Lord was so pleased with this rare request that He not only promised to make Solomon the wisest man on the earth, but He doubles his reward in 1 Kings 3:13 by stating: "I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days."

Fragile in our Flesh

Despite our call to reflect the holy standards of an eternal God as human beings made in His image, we can find comfort in the reassurance that God is aware of how fragile we really are.  Psalm 78:39 says, “He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.” This idea is repeated in Psalm 103:14, which states, “For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” This is why we need to cling to God’s promise in 2 Corinthians 12:9 when He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness

No Condemnation in Christ

One of the great benefits of a yearly Bible reading plan is that readers are often assigned passages in the Old and New Testaments together each week. This holistic approach not only illustrates our desperate need of salvation through the tribulations of Israel, but also celebrates our offer of salvation through the finished work of Christ. So, when the Old Testament reminds us of how worthy we are of facing the eternal wrath of God, we need to cling to His offer of saving grace in New Testament passages like Romans 8:1, when we are reminded that "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Week 23 Readings:  June 3 - 9

-Day One:  Proverbs 3-5; Romans 10

-Day Two:  Proverbs 6-7; Psalm 7; Romans 11

-Day Three:  Proverbs 8-10; Psalm 144; Romans 12

-Day Four:  Proverbs 11-13; Psalm 8; Romans 13

-Day Five:  Proverbs 14-15; Romans 14  


Tips to Keep You on Track

          As we continue in our reading plan this week, pay careful attention to how Romans 10-14 captures Paul’s gradual shift of focus from the mystery of salvation to signs of practical Christian living for those who are saved. Chapters 10-11 begin by presenting God’s sovereign plan to save sinners, first by explaining individual conversion through faith in Christ, and then by giving a big picture overview of how Israel and the Gentiles fit into God’s plan of redemption. Then, in Romans 12-14, Paul begins to highlight key areas of daily life where the evidence of salvation can be found through living in obedience to Christ and by the power of Christ. When you walk through these pivotal chapters in Romans, don’t over emphasize the passages that may be mysterious or confusing. Instead, highlight the key areas that you do understand so you can make practical changes in your life to grow in maturity and reflect the image of Christ. Romans is a book that is so deep even the most brilliant scholars are baffled, but it is also so practical in the final chapters that every believer can make tangible choices in their life to grow in their walk with the Lord.