Wisdom and knowledge. That is…insight and information.
This is the ambition of most – to have depth of insight…and a bank of information.
But…where is it found?
In Christ “…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
All wisdom and knowledge are found in Jesus Christ.
Why is this important? Paul explains: “…so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”
So “…live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Here is a blueprint for life – rooted…built up…strengthened in faith…and thankful.
Wisdom and knowledge – it’s found in Christ.
Ministry unto the Lord. It is to this the people of God are called.
Sadly…sometimes other motives creep in – like service for profit…fame…honor…or pride.
This is displeasing to the Lord.
Zadok and his descendants were ministers unto the Lord from the days of David to the days of Ezekiel – hundreds of years.
“But the priests, who are Levites and descendants of Zadok and who faithfully carried out the duties of my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from me, are to come near to minister before me…”
Here is the pattern – ministry unto the Lord…and that from a heart wholly consecrated to the Lord.
Though others may go astray…those like Zadok keep their focus on the Lord alone.
This alone is service that is acceptable to the Lord.
Be like the descendants of Zadok.
Wink or whack? That’s one of the most critical questions to be faced in life.
The misconduct of a child…a spouse who exhibits abusive behavior…a church member who demonstrates compromising tendencies — do you let it go…or do you confront it?
Why is the decision so difficult? No one wants to be judgmental…unsympathetic…or critical. And sometimes toleration is more helpful than confrontation.
It’s interesting to note how Jesus dealt with this challenge. Sometimes…He used the strongest language to confront. At other times…He chose silence or forgiveness.
Today…you’ll wrestle with the question – do I confront it – or do I just let it go? You will need the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Wink or whack?
Accountability. It’s all about what you believe…and how you live.
Salvation is based on faith – alone. Every person is accountable to God for his response to the gospel.
But…rewards are based on the way you live out that faith. Will it be gold…silver…precious stones? Or wood…hay…and stubble?
Before God…every person is accountable for saving faith…and the good works that must follow.
Sadly…some have attempted to reverse the sequence – with good works preceding faith.
Saving faith…working itself out in obedient service — that’s God’s plan.
Accountability — in this order: Saving faith…followed by faithful obedience.
“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”
Departed souls…where do they go?
Some believe in annihilation. Death marks the final end.
Others believe that the departed soul exists…but in a state of slumber.
Others believe that the departed soul goes through a time of purification…in preparation for heaven.
Thankfully…the Apostle Paul gives us a clear word on this: “…to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
The transition to be with Christ is immediate.
So…now is the time to prepare by staying close to Jesus…living a life of obedience…and walking in holiness.
This is the blessed hope promised in God’s Word.
So today…in the midst of life’s pressures…draw strength from blessed hope.
“…to be absent from the body…present with the Lord.”
The imprint of the image of God. It goes deeper than the genetic code.
Even rank unbelievers cry out to God when the threat of death is imminent.
It shows that there is an imprint of God’s image…deep in the soul.
Granted…some curse in the face of death…but in reality that is a cover–up for what is hidden deep within.
Also…God’s existence is evidenced by His image in the depth of man’s soul.
God’s image refuses to be buried. With little provocation…it speaks with clarity.
The imprint of the image of God. It’s found deep in the soul of every person.
Truth-testing. Otherwise…you’ll be misinformed.
Each day your mind receives countless messages…each calling for truth-testing.
Some messages are self-generating. They come from the experiences of life…personal convictions…and even speculations.
Other messages come from the world around you – politics…entertainment…media…and conversations with others.
And…the same is true for the messages that come through the church.
Every message must be truth-tested.
Disciplined thought patterns are required. But…there must be an objective testing method that is more reliable.
That testing device is Scripture. Rightly interpreted – it provides the objective criteria by which messages can be truth-tested. Jesus said: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Never alone. That truth is most reassuring.
Hagar found herself alone in the desert. Not really…for God spoke to her. And she responded: “Thou God seest me…”
There are moments when you feel you are all alone in a barren desert place. No one can see you…no one knows where you are…and you feel alone and forsaken.
But…God sees you.
Sometimes…you may feel afraid of His watchful eye. But…for Hagar the eye of God was a source of comfort and strength.
Throughout your whole life – God will never let you out of His sight.
And He covers you with grace…mercy…and love – as you choose to walk with Him.
A contagious faith. It is easily transmitted from person to person.
This faith is characterized by humility…kindness…truth – and lived out in practicality and integrity.
Sometimes…a person’s faith is not viewed as attractive. There is an edge of judgmentalism…self-righteousness…and inconsistencies.
The masses were attracted to Jesus – His was a contagious example of purity…compassion…and truth.
Yes…people were convicted by His words and manner of life. But…it was always a conviction rooted in His purity and compassion.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
That’s contagious faith.
In reverence. That’s the response of godly people to the presence of God.
When Solomon’s temple was under construction. “…no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.”
Imagine a construction site in silence…with all cuts and fittings done in other places.
Why? To demonstrate the honor that is due the One who would inhabit this special house.
Sometimes worshipers fail to show the honor due God’s house. Informality takes over. The tone is casual. Minds have taken flight and focused on other things.
That is a desecration.
A holy reverence for the house of the Lord – let that be a priority.