Thursday, June 25, 2015

Words Without Wisdom

"Job speaks without knowledge, His words are without wisdom."
Job 34:35 (NKJV)

Have you ever met someone who likes to talk a lot?  Maybe you are or have been that kind of person.  At times most of us have been guilty of thinking that if we use enough words somehow that makes us either look smart or it helps us make a point and state our case.  The truth is that quantity does not always equal quality, this is true with words as well as with many other things.  For example, if you have 100 gold bars that would be great but if you had 100 rocks it would not mean much.  Or you could have just one bar of gold and it would still be more valuable than 100 rocks.

If you read the book of Job you will see that there was a lot of talking going on.  In the first two chapters of Job we see Job's problems and then his friends show up.  Then, from Job chapter 3 all the way through Job chapter 31, Job and his three friends talk, and talk, and talk.  But, they don't come up with any answers or solve any problems, they just talk, and talk, and talk!  There are a lot of different ideas that people have about Job and what happened to him and my goal is not to give any explanation about the book of Job but rather to point out that all of the talking they did produced nothing.

Many people talk a lot but they still don't really have anything to say, this was the case of Job and his friends as well as many people today.  It is nice to have something to say but is that something we say worth anything?  Is what we say helpful, constructive, and encouraging or are we like the situation we see in Job where there were a lot of words but no wisdom.  It is easy to find people who talk a lot but it is not so easy to find someone who really has something to say.  We need to speak the truth of God's Word to ourselves and others to be sure that we have something valuable to say.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What Is God Like?

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variation or shadow of turning."
James 1:17 (NKJV)

There are several ways that you can get to know someone.  One way is to spend time with them and see how they act.  You can get to know a person by talking to them and hearing them tell you what they think about different things.  You can also learn what someone is like by reading things they have written; what a person says on social media, if they have a blog, or if they have written books, anything someone writes will tell you about them and what they are like.  The key is to find out what the person is really like and not just what others might say about them.

Many people are not sure what God is really like.  Some people base their understanding of God on past experience, by watching the lives of Christians, and even by church teaching and tradition.  But those things are not necessarily the best methods of getting to know God; our past experiences may not be biblical, the lives of others may not accurately reflect who God is, and what a church teaches may just be man's ideas or traditions.  To really know and understand God we need to take a look at what the Bible says about who God is, what He is like, and what He does.

God has revealed Himself to us through His Word.  James 1:17 says that God gives good and perfect gifts, that shows us that if something bad comes into our life then we can be sure that God did not send it.  In Psalm 35:27 it tells us that God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant, so we know that God wants us to prosper and succeed in life.  1 Peter 3:12 says that God's eyes are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers, which shows us that God is watching over us and He is ready to hear and answer when we pray.  Don't take someone's word for what God is like, get to know God through His Word.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Prayer Projects

"Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;"
Colossians 4:2 (NKJV)

Whether it was on the job or at home, at one time or another pretty much everyone has had some type of project to do.  Depending on the work that needed to be done the project may have only taken a little bit of time or it may have lasted for quite a while.  We might start a project thinking it will take us a certain amount of time but once we begin the project we find that what is required to finish the work is more than we had planned on so the time we spend on that project is longer than originally anticipated.  But no matter what, for a project to be done right we have to stay with it until it is finished.

In Ephesians 6:18 Paul talks about praying with all kinds of prayer.  We always use the Word of God as our foundation for prayer, no matter what we are praying about we first find out what the Bible says and then we pray.  Many people are familiar with the prayer of faith where we ask God for something He promised in His Word; we pray and believe and that is the end of the prayer, once you have asked in faith you don't keep asking again and again, otherwise you did not ask in faith.  But there are some things that we pray about that become prayer projects and then we pray in a different way.

Paul said he prayed for people repeatedly (Ephesians 1:15, 16; Colossians 1:9) and Paul asked that people pray that he would have opportunities to speak and the right words to say (Colossians 4:3; Ephesians 6:19), these things could be called prayer projects, things that can be prayed about often.  Some prayer projects like these are the kind that we just keep on praying about repeatedly and some prayer projects are the kind that we pray about several times and then see the result, which brings that prayer project to an end.  There are many different prayer projects we could have but no matter what, once we have that project in prayer we continue with it and expect to see results.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Are We There Yet?

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"
Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

When I was a child our family took different trips to visit relatives or to go on vacation.  Some trips were longer than others but one thing that happened on just about every trip was that I or one of my three brothers would ask our parents the question that every child asks, "Are we there yet?"  The problem was that we wanted to reach our destination sooner than we would and in our view the trip took too much time.  But as long as we were taking the right course we would get to where we needed to go, maybe just not as fast as my brothers or I had hoped.

God has a path and a plan for each of us and our goal in life should be to do the will of God and to follow His plan.  But, while there is a plan for our life there is no set time for that plan to come to pass and each person's plan is different.  We may be in the perfect plan and will of God and still think that it is taking too long to achieve all of the goals that God has given us.  Just like children who are impatient with the amount of time it takes to reach a destination, we too can lose our focus on what is really important if we get caught up in the wrong things.

Our part in the plan and will of God for our life is to recognize that plan and to then follow God's direction.  It is not up to us to decide what that plan should be or if it is working to our satisfaction, God's plan is not subject to our approval as to whether it is happening as fast as we think it should or in the way we think it should, this is often where we have problems.  Find the plan and will of God for your life through the Word of God and by listening to the Holy Spirit, then when you are on that path keep on going, knowing that God will help you reach your destination.