James 3:17 Wisdom From Heaven

 

Sunset over water

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy ad good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17

Wisdom is just the knowing how to apply the knowledge that a person has in the best way possible. The world has a lot of wisdom, but it is faulty. The wisdom of the world is selfish and full of envy. It is about self and what one wants for himself.

In places where there is selfishness, there will always be disorder, discontent, jealousy, envy, hatred, cheating, and lying. The person is always striving to get the most out of life at any cost.

The wisdom that comes from God does not have any of those characteristics in it. God’s wisdom will always aim for peace, without compromising His standards. It is concerned with what others are going through or needing. His wisdom submits to those in authority, rather than forcing others into submission.

It has the mercy of God upon others who have done wrong, rather than throwing the book at the person. Heavenly wisdom will be filled with good fruit, the fruit of the Spirit, because it is led by His Holy Spirit. It will treat every person the same regardless of position, money, character or anything else, just as Jesus did and still does. God’s wisdom will always be sincere and true, not joking around and not changing all the time.

In simple words, the wisdom that comes from God will always put God and others first because of love. This is the wisdom of God that is found in Jesus. He put others, who did not love or want Him, first by dying on the cross for them. To the world this does not make sense, because it does not know true love–Jesus.

As you seek wisdom keep in mind how God’s wisdom will look in this life. See why you need that wisdom and how you will use it correctly in your life. Do not allow yourself to be full of selfishness and envy because of some wisdom that you may possess, that is not of God.

Allow God to give you His wisdom so that you may be His witness in this world of who He really is and what He is really like. Don’t be like the world, but like Jesus in this world.

I pray today that God will fill you with His wisdom; that you will know how to use God’s wisdom correctly; that your life will be one like that of Jesus; and that you will love as God loves.

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Hebrews 4:16 Approach With Confidence

 

Father and son

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Approaching a person with a lot of power or a very high position is usually very intimidating for most people. People are afraid of making a mistake in what they say or do. They also fear the person that they are approaching. This can be especially true when the person has the power to lift the person up or remove the person out.

Another time people are often afraid of those in authority is when the person did something wrong. Children are often afraid of being around a parent when he has done something wrong, for fear of being found out. Adults avoid the boss or the police when they have done something wrong.

Along with fearing approaching people in authority, many people fear approaching God. They often see God as a harsh God who is out to destroy them because of some sin that they did. Many feel as though they do not have the right to approach God, that they are not worthy to stand before Him.

While it is true that no person, in and of himself, is worthy to stand before God, what Jesus has done makes the person worthy. He removes all sin, making the believer righteous before God.

God wants every believer to come before Him for every need, even when they are in trouble and did something wrong. God is full of mercy and grace. He knows that every believer will mess up and sin. That is why Jesus came to die on the cross. He did it out of love for people.

When the believer approaches God for a need, He is ready to answer and help him out. He is ready to forgive and guide a person in the right path.

Every time that you have a need, do not be afraid to go before God and present that need. God loves it when you approach Him with a need, just as a parent loves his child coming to him with a need.

You can approach God with confidence, knowing that He loves you and will do what is best for you. He will not destroy you.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God’s mercy for you; that you will know God’s grace for you; that you will not fear approaching God; and that you will approach God with confidence.

2 Timothy 2:25-26 Dealing With Opposition

 

Girl with rabbit

Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:25-26

The majority of the world is against Christians. They do not believe in God and do not want anything to do with Jesus. There are some who are violently against believers and will get physical in their opposition. The rest just oppose believers in words. Either way they act, they are opponents to those who follow Jesus.

All of these people have been taken captive  by the traps of the devil. They are living as the devil desires, doing his will to oppose Jesus.

Many believers are willing to take a stand against those who oppose Christ. The problem is that there have been many who have done so in a way that is not the way Jesus would respond to opponents. They have harshly condemned the opponents, struck them, physically destroyed their property and more.

Jesus rarely used violence. The only time He used a little violence was in the temple against those who were religious, and then it was not against them physically, but against their stuff. Jesus had spoken with kind words almost every time. He worked to draw people to Him, not push them away.

Paul told Timothy to speak gently with his opponents. He is to show love and care to them. Jesus had stated that believers are to love their enemies.

Speaking gently is to speak kind words as one points out where a person may be wrong. It is pointing a person to Jesus and His words. It is showing love, compassion, mercy and grace to a person. The goal is to get them to become a follower of Jesus, not beat them down.

You will have people who will be an opponent to you. Some may be just verbally violent, while others may be physically violent. Jesus had both types against Him. How you speak and react to them will show how much of a follower of Jesus you are.

Give them a chance to change and choose to follow Jesus. Do not just condemn them and give up on them. Jesus did not speak harshly with you and did not give up on you.

I pray today that you will know the gentleness of Jesus; that you will show God’s love to all people; that God will give you the words to speak to your opponents; and that many will come to Jesus through your message. 

1 Timothy 1:13 A Proper Perspective

 

Lighthouse at dawn

Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 1 Timothy 1:13

Paul opens his letter to Timothy, a young new preacher of the gospel, with encouragement. He points out that he was a horrible, rotten sinner, yet was shown much mercy and grace by God because he had done everything out of ignorance and unbelief.

The majority of the people in the world do not have the proper perspective on who they are or what they are really like. They do not see a need to be saved because they do not believe in sin. Not believing in God will cause a reason to not believe in sin. So people see themselves as a good person or just like everyone else.

There are believers in the church who tend to have the same view of themselves. This can be seen in believers who grew up in the church. They do believe in God and believe in sin, but never really saw themselves as a bad sinner.

Very few people will consider themselves as a blasphemer, persecutor and a violent person. Yet, every believer was these very things at one point in their life. They claimed that they could do anything and did not need God, even talking against God, being a blasphemer. They talked against believers, being a persecutor. And did things selfishly against others, being violent.

Yet, they were shown mercy by God, because most of what they had been doing was done in ignorance or unbelief. God knows that humans act the way they do because they don’t really know the truth–Jesus and God’s word. Jesus accepts and forgives everyone who comes to Him in belief.

As a believer you were once all of these things. Without Jesus you would still be in that position and be that type of person. Yet, Jesus has shown you His great mercy and forgiven you.

Since you have been forgiven, turn away from that type of living. Also realize that the rest of the world still needs to learn this truth. Be ready to show mercy on others, just as Jesus has shown you mercy.

Having the right perspective on who you were and who you are now, helps you know other people correctly. You were changed and saved, they can also be changed and saved.

I pray today that God will reveal to you who you were; that you will know the mercy God has given you; that you will be a changed person in Jesus; that you will show God’s mercy to others; and that God will help you turn from all sin.

Colossians 4:5 Using Opportunities Correctly

 

Immigrants

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5

All around the world in every nation and every city or community, there will be people who are outsiders. These are people who have moved into the area from some other location. This location can be from the same country, maybe only a few miles down the road, or from across the ocean. Regardless of where they come from, they are outsiders.

When these outsiders come from another nation, they are called immigrants. There is currently lots of discussion on how to treat those immigrants and what should or should not be done with them. Some want to kick them out, some what to put them in jail, and others want to let them stay.

The same problems arise with people who are outsiders coming around the church. These are people who are not believers. How does one in the church act towards them?

Often many believers treat them with distrust and hatred, not giving them an opportunity to know Jesus.

Paul says that the believer must be wise in how one acts towards them and to make the most of every opportunity.

Wisdom can be seen in being careful in choosing the words and actions spoken. Every believer is supposed to be a witness of who Jesus is and a representative of His great love and mercy towards others. This takes great wisdom from God to know.

The believer is to take every opportunity he can to show God’s love to the outsider–the non-believer, the world. This can only be done with love, mercy and grace in both words and actions.

Every day and at every moment there are many opportunities to be a witness to an outsider. More than half the world is an outsider to God.

Instead of being afraid of an outsider, find ways to reach out in love to the outsider. Take a look at what you are saying and doing around the outsider. Are your actions and words drawing them or pointing them to Jesus? Or are your actions and words pushing them away from Jesus?

Allow God to open your eyes to the many opportunities that come your way each day. Grab every opportunity you can to be His witness. Draw in as many outsiders into His kingdom as you can. That is the goal of Jesus.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will guide you in what to say and do around others; that you will show God’s love and mercy to all people; and that you will be filled with God’s wisdom.