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Posts Tagged ‘Wisdom’

Thought for Today?

Who is Wise?

Part 2

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
Daniel 12:3

God given wisdom is anchored in righteousness and the fear of the Lord. Those who are wise, have a fear of the Lord as they walk and seek to understand the true righteousness of God. The wisdom of God causes His people to shine in the brightness of His countenance. It is the truly wise who understand the consequences of sin and righteousness knowing that in Him all their actions are weighed. The foolish do not consider the wages of sin; they walk lightly and carelessly. They forget that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” and give an account for all the things we have done (1 Corinthians 5:10). Their lack of understanding produces wrong thinking, wrong living, and consequently, unholy lives.

The wise shine forth His counsel and righteousness for it is in the ministration of wisdom that others are made wise. It is in the speaking and the living with a true understanding of “the holy” (Proverbs 9:10) that others are turned to righteousness. There are many who preach forgiveness, acceptance and grace but do so at the expense of righteousness. It is in the preaching of righteousness that men and women seek God for mercy and forgiveness! There can be no true and earnest desire for mercy except there be a revelation of the righteousness of God. A penitent heart is one who has been impacted by the holiness of God.

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” Acts 2:37-38

It is the preaching of righteousness in the power of the Holy Spirit that “turns” people to righteousness. The preaching of grace and forgiveness apart from the ministration of God’s righteousness is an absurdity.

“The depth of our repentance 
will determine the depth of our revival”

Frank Bartleman

The reason for the dearth of holy zeal, passion and fervency of spirit is because we have not seen the enormity of our sins! For they who are forgiven much love much. Lukewarm hearts, apathetic lives and lethargic living in His people is the fruit of those who have forgotten or have never known the extent of their transgressions.

They who are wise preach righteousness
for they love Him who is righteous.

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. for if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. but he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins 2 Peter 1:5-9

The foolish lack diligence, virtue, knowledge, temperance and all the above qualities of the character of Christ because they have become blind through forgetfulness of how much they have been forgiven.

They who are alive in Christ walk in the wisdom of God and live for the sole purpose of preaching Christ and His righteousness.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Who is Wise?

“Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine,
and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man…”
Matthew 7:24

The scriptures are full of God’s thoughts and His determinations. Those who set their hearts to please and honor Him will have little difficulty discovering these things. It is a simple concept for us to consider; hear His Word and obey it. While many love to discuss revelations, dreams and visions the simplicity of doing His Word will make one wise and pleasing to God. As one man observed, the disobedient scholar has to muddy the water in order to make it appear deep. In reality the wonder of obeying Him brings us to clear waters, pure hearts and a faith built upon the very Rock of our Salvation.

There is no better teacher than obedience for it opens the heart to feel God within. It cleanses the eyes that we may see clearly and it causes our ears to become sensitive to the intonations of His voice. Obedience will always clarify our walk. In obeying we soon discover whether a thing is of God or of ourselves. Those who never obey His voice within are left with obscurity in the things of life. They have never acted on the still small voice within and therefore the ambiguity of His way is never solved. With the passing of time the voice becomes reticent and men and women are left to their own thoughts and ways.

Child-like faith will always reveal the Father. It is to such He comes to show them the wonders of His Son and of His Kingdom.

“But whoever does what is true comes to the light,
so that it may become evident
that his actions have God’s approval”
John 3:21

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Purpose of God

“So then death worketh in us,
but life in you”
2 Corinthians 4:12

The radical nature of the Kingdom of God is one of mystery and paradox; it is contrary to the constitution of natural man. Entering into it requires the death and renunciation of the self-life in order to touch the wonder of its power. The very LIFE of the Kingdom of God is only available in Jesus. There is “salvation in no other name” and there is LIFE in no other. He ALONE is the Kingdom and He ALONE is the Way into the Kingdom. He is the TRUTH of the Kingdom and He is the LIFE of the Kingdom.

“For the Jews require a sign,
and the Greeks seek after wisdom”
1 Corinthians 1:22

Here Paul sums up the inclinations of the world and the people of God. His people desired signs and wonders and others sought “wisdom” (Greek word “sophia” from which we derive the word philosophy*). The nature of the heart of man has not changed. God’s Kingdom will not be found by these means for Paul goes on in the very next verse of scripture:

“But we preach Christ crucified,
unto the Jews a stumblingblock,
and unto the Greeks foolishness”
1 Corinthians 1:23

Christ crucified is the pivotal point upon which the entire purposes of God rest. The Way into this Kingdom is dependent upon the extent of our identification and participation in His death being worked out in our lives. The corresponding revelation of His Life in us will be to the degree of “death” being worked into us. This happens through the operation of His Holy Spirit combined with our own will yielding in true discipleship. Smooth words, elaborate teachings and overt signs and wonders will never replace the power of a crucified life. It is in this place that God’s work must culminate if we would enter into the wonder of His Life. Again Paul continues:

“But unto them which are called,
both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God,
and the wisdom of God”
1 Corinthians 1:24

It is in those who are called that this revelation is made known. The nature of a call requires a response and the call to discipleship is predicated with an “if”. The “if” allows a free-will response from the individual. Entrance into the Kingdom is not by words, understanding, or signs and wonders but by the crucible of the Cross.

“For we which live
are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake,
that the life also of Jesus
might be made manifest in our mortal flesh
2 Corinthians 4:11

The end and purpose of all life is “…that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh”.

*NOTE: Contained within the Greek language are differing words for knowledge and love. The word for Philosophy comes from two Greek words (φίλος- philos) and (σοφία-sophia). Philos is one of three main Greek words for Love; agape, philos, and eros. Each speak to a realm or a sphere of love. Eros is a love which proceeds from the flesh and in turn loves fleshly things. Philos is a love which originates from the soul; it speaks of friendship and affection and when combined with (σοφία-sophia) we end up with the word philosophy: man’s love for wisdom and knowledge. It is a knowledge which may sound deep and good but leaves those who hold it weak and ineffective in the ministration of His life. God’s end is Agape – it is His love ruling, leading and holding us to His ways and purposes. God’s love cannot rest in anything which is contrary to His nature. It is the One over-riding motive which can produce discipleship within the heart of an individual. Peter’s love (philos) failed for man’s affection will never hold a heart true in times of testing.

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of God”
1 Corinthians 2:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 11

Continued

WISDOM

“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season
to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning,
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”
Isaiah 50:4

Those priests of God who are walking in the way of truth begin to be “awakened” to hear His heart within their own. In the mystery of relationship with Him there is a divine enablement to “speak a word in season” to those who are faint and weary. Through the medium of knowing and experiencing Him in our own walk we touch His ways and His heart to the end we may be wise in the ministration of His grace to others. Whether it be encouragement, hope, a kind word or even a word of admonishment it is all with the earnest desire to see our brothers and sisters rise up and finish the race set before us.

The ear of the “learned” is to come to a place of being tuned in to His voice and heart. It is not something which can be learned through books, counselling strategies, Christian seminars and other means of education. The true understanding of such things can only be found in a life “yoked” with Christ in God. He (Jesus) is the sum of all wisdom, love and true knowledge and it is in Him we learn to live and move and become the very extension of all that He is. This heart is really only available to the true disciple who has discovered the wonder and joy of following Him and the necessity of carrying his own cross. This way is fraught with the discovery of one’s self. It is a way of repentance, transformation, and glory. In the Old Testament the priesthood was mainly obtained by birth but in this New Covenant we are made priests by the ministration of His Life within us through obedience and relationship.

“And hath MADE us kings and priests
unto God and his Father;
to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever”
Revelation 1:6

It is His purpose to make us kings and priests unto Him who alone is the “Great High Priest” of better things to come.

“But Christ being come
an high priest of good things to come,
by a greater and more perfect tabernacle,
not made with hands…”
Hebrews 9:11

It is in our learning of Him and His ways that we discover, grow and develop the “tongue of the learned” because our “ears have been awakened morning by morning” to His living word.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 11

WISDOM

“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season
to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning,
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”
Isaiah 50:4

The priesthood of the individual believer is a vital truth of the New Testament. The power of this truth alone will transform the life and walk of any true believer from one of faithless inactivity into a life filled with endless possibilities and new horizons. Understanding that each of us as individuals are enabled and gifted in Christ to become priests of the Most High God, and minister into the lives of those around us, brings a sense of purpose to daily life. It is to this end have we been called and sanctified. The Old Testament rituals and laws were for the express purpose of teaching us our own need to be set apart unto Him. Paul says all of these things were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world is come. Even the smallest details given to us by God are for our own growth and development.

“For it has been written in the Law of Moses,
“You shall not muzzle an ox treading out grain.” Deut. 25:4
Is it that it matters to God as to oxen?
Or does He say it altogether because of us?
It is written because of us,
so that the one plowing ought to plow in hope,
and the one threshing in hope to partake of hope
1 Corinthians 9:9-10

Paul takes one little truth out of the Old Testament to breathe into it the very life and purpose of God. If we fail to see the New Covenant written into the Old we are destined to see God in a very dim light. Even this scripture concerning oxen is woven into the truth of the individual priesthood of every believer; it ministers hope to us to be faithful in the walking out of God’s call. Where the truth of the priesthood of the individual believer is lacking so will the understanding of the Body of Christ be lacking. Those who do not see the necessity of the individual’s ministration will have no ability to comprehend this precious truth. It is in touching the Holy truth of the many-membered Body that our walk in God is transformed. As each member is empowered by His grace to bring forth unique expressions of the Head (the risen Christ), His people will experience new vistas of glory and wonder. In this place of seeing Him within each individual, the variety in God’s wisdom, envy and jealously are displaced by love and deep appreciation for each member. When we see the purpose of God in this we are no longer concerned with our own things; the real purpose of giftings is to see the Glory of the One Body become a living reality in the earth. Paul and all of the other apostolic, prophetic and teaching ministrations in the New Testament were to this end. Paul’s heart was to present His people to Him as a chaste virgin; pure, holy, set apart for Christ alone. There was no pervading thought of them having their own church for they simply saw themselves as instruments through whom others believed. We must return to the pure faith; a faith which sees Christ as the Head of the One Body and by whom we all minister the grace and wisdom of God who has “given severally unto everyone that believeth”. Paul admonishes the carnal thinking which was prevalent in the Church of God at Corinth…

“Therefore let no man glory in men.
For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas,
or the world, or life, or death, or things present,
or things to come; all are yours;
And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s”
1 Corinthians 3:21-23

The desire for His people to be one in spirit, faith and life is the transcendent cry of those who carry God’s burden for His people. The true priests seek not their own things. Their desire is to become the echo of His heart in all things.

“For this cause I bow my knees
unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God
Ephesians 3:14-19

To be continued…

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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PSALM 25

INTRODUCTION

Continued
Part Two

(See Part One)

AN ACROSTIC PSALM
(*SEE NOTE #1)

Not only is Psalm 25 one of the seven Penitential Psalms it is also one of the nine Acrostic Psalms (Psalm 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119 and 145). In the Ancient Hebrew language an Acrostic writing (*see note #2) is one in which the arrangement of the text is structured and constrained according to the Acrostic Law: each verse (or group of verses as in Psalm 119) begins with consecutive letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. Acrostic writings are a structured design according to the intent of the author. It is a type of writing that requires forethought and planning; an expression undertaken with deliberation and intent. As with all of God’s expressions we find in this a revelation of God’s character and being. His Word is never hastily spoken or expressed without the full intent of His thought and heart. God, being who He is, is bound by the wonder of His Glory and Character. It is this unassailable truth that causes all who love Him to worship and praise Him. He is never rash or given to sudden outbursts for He is governed by the constraint of His Own Character. Righteousness, in part, is growing into His likeness concerning this aspect of God. As we grow in this righteousness rage, lust, temptation and other impulses of behavior are now ruled by the wisdom of His Life within our hearts. There is the constraint of the Spirit to bring forth a tempered and measured response to the circumstances we face. An Acrostic inspired writing follows a law of expression to give us insight into this particular facet of God’s Glory.

In this Psalm, though each verse (by pre-design) begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the theme flows with a central subject even while it is constricted to a severe style of writing. So is it to be in our own lives; the central purpose of revealing Him is governed by the law of His Life within us. Our growth into Him is to become more like Him in the common flow of everyday life. Growth is revealed in the desire to communicate His words and thoughts into the lives around us. The fear of the Lord causes us to measure our words because we know the things we speak will be weighed in the balances of His Righteousness. As the Proverb declares “the tongue of the wise is health”. Those who love God, and know of this discipline and grace, are always in the grip of being “instant in season and out of season”. The difference between a flood and a river is that the river is channeled and flows within the banks of God’s appointed purpose.

“My heart is inditing a good matter:
I speak of the things which I have made touching the king:
my tongue is the pen of a ready writer
Psalm 45:1

One does not have to read many of the Psalms to know some of the expressions spring from great moments of spontaneous praise while others give expression to deep discouragement and penitence. Here however we find the “constrained” and well thought out theme. As mentioned earlier this is a Psalm of a seasoned Elder, a man of considerable experience with His God, and it reveals the thoughts and state of David’s heart.

God is not rash in dealing with His Own. There is a deliberate and steadied response to our iniquities and sins. There is a fragrance we discover in this Psalm of a Covenant Keeping God; a God who keeps and reveals His purposes and covenant with those who “fear Him” (verse 14). He does not alter His call upon anyone who seeks Him with a pure and right heart. Though great and many are the faltering steps of His Own…He is the Covenant Keeper. How precious are His ways and His thoughts towards us! It is in our dark times of great trial and perplexity that we can call to mind this character of our God who holds us in the firm and steady grip of His own being. Those who are His have this assurance within their own hearts, not on some doctrinal level, but as a living truth that brings security when we are broken and have faltered in our way. If we hold such things as a mere doctrine, we will never know of the sorrow or brokenness of heart that accompanies our transgressions.

“For Your name’s sake, O Jehovah,
even pardon my iniquity for it is great”
Psalm 25:11

It is in seeing Him who is constrained by His own love and purposes that we begin to see in part the power of this truth being developed in our own lives. Things which would have brought unrestrained expressions of anger and bitterness in the past become less and less as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Wisdom and peace become the arbitrators of our heart as we progress in our walk with Him.

“And wisdom and knowledge
shall be the stability of thy times…”
Isaiah 33:6

It is in this stability and knowledge of God’s keeping power that we settle into the Arms of our Everlasting Father.

“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother:
my soul is even as a weaned child.
Let Israel hope in the LORD
from henceforth and for ever”
Psalm 131:2-3

NOTE #1: Acrostic (etymology) comes from the French word acrostiche derived from the Latin word acrostichis which is from the Greek word ἀκροστιχίς a compound word of ἄκρος meaning highest point or top, and στίχος meaning verse.

NOTE #2: List of Acrostic writings in the Old Testament

1: Psalm 25 Each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse.
2: Psalm 34 Each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse.
3: Psalm 37 Each Hebrew consonant covers 2 verses.
4: Psalm 111 Each Hebrew consonant covers ½ verse.
5: Psalm 112 Each Hebrew consonant covers ½ verse.
6: Psalm 119 Each Hebrew consonant covers 8 verses.
7: Psalm 145 Each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse.
8: Lam 1- 4 In chapter 1 and 2 each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse which consists of 3 stanzas. In chapter 3 each consonant covers 3 stanzas/verses, therefore it has 66 verses.
Chapter 4 has 22 verses, each consonant consists of 2 stanzas beginning with that letter of the alphabet.
Chapter 5 has 22 verses, but is not an alphabetic acrostic.
11: Prov 31: 10 –31 Each Hebrew consonant covers 1 verse.
12: Nahum 1: 1- 9 The Aleph covers three lines. There seems to be an interjection of 2 lines before the rest of the consonants, which covers only one verse each. The letter zayin appears in the second position of the line.

“In the common form of acrostic found in Old Testament Poetry, each line or stanza begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order. This literary form may have been intended as an aid to memory, but more likely it was a poetic way of saying that a total coverage of the subject was being offered — as we would say, ‘from A to Z.’ Acrostics occur in Psalms 111 and 112, where each letter begins a line; in Psalms 25, 34, and 145, where each letter begins a half-verse; in Psalm 37, Proverbs 31:10-31, and Lamentations 1, 2, and 4, where each letter begins a whole verse; and in Lamentations 3, where each letter begins three verses. Psalm 119 is the most elaborate demonstration of the acrostic method where, in each section of eight verses, the same opening letter is used, and the twenty-two sections of the psalm move through the Hebrew alphabet, letter after letter”. –J.A. Motyer, “Acrostic,” in The New International Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987), p. 12.

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TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

PART ONE

“Blessed* is the man
that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful…
And he shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”
PSALM 1:1,3

The Hebrew word written here as “counsel” is better translated advice, way, strategies or schemes. This psalm describes and prescribes to us the way in which we ought to walk in order to become as a “tree planted by the waters”. Within God’s hidden wisdom there is a path and a way for each of us to walk that will lead us to HIS desired END. Today we see much of the “wisdom” of this world interjected into the things of God. We cannot operate with the strategies and ways of the world and expect to lay hold of the wonder of HIS Life and purposes. Such is the folly of religion.

This Psalm has a blessing pronounced upon those who shun the wisdom and the “prudent counsels of this world” to walk in HIS ways. This blessing contains within it the ability to be fruitful and established in HIM and HIS righteousness. While men seek prominence, recognition and authority derived from a position rather than a relationship with God, there is evidence of a withered and empty inheritance.

We have rich examples in the word. Consider how Daniel and his friends refused the enticements of the king and chose to eat the simple fare of God’s provisions. Their faces shone with the health and vitality of walking in God’s counsel rather than the “worldly wisdom” of their day.

Then said Daniel to Melzar,
whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Prove thy servants,
I beseech thee, ten days;
and let them give us pulse to eat,
and water to drink.
Then let our countenances
be looked upon before thee,
and the countenance of the children
that eat of the portion of the king’s meat:
and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
So he consented to them in this matter,
and proved them ten days.
And at the end of ten days
their countenances appeared
fairer and fatter in flesh
than all the children which did eat
the portion of the king’s meat
DANIEL 1:11-15

The way and wisdom of God which seems foolish to the natural man is the way of LIFE and BLESSING. It is a way that frees us from the wisdom of this world, introduces us to the paths of humility and grace, and causes us to drink from the streams of mercy and righteousness. Such a path is hidden from the wise and prudent, from those who seek self-promotion, pride and control; for it is the WAY of the Son which leads to LIFE and the true liberty of the Spirit of God.

Truly, blessed are they who walk not in the ways and the “wisdom” of this world for they shall…

“…be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”
PSALM 1:3

Ω

“The way of every man
is the declaration of
the end of everyman”

Ψ

“The kind of Christianity
that relies upon the influence
of its own human and earthly power
makes God sick,
for the Church of Jesus Christ
is a heavenly institution”
A.W. Tozer

* NOTE: The Hebrew Word translated “Blessed” here is plural denoting the manifold blessings of God are showered upon those who DO NOT walk in the way and wisdom of the ungodly, who DO NOT stand in the way (habits, manner of life) of sinners and who DO NOT sit (to dwell, abide or be set) in the seat of the scorner (boastful). Notice the three-fold progression of the posture of those who forfeit the Blessings of God (walking, standing and sitting)

The Hebrew Word translated “walketh” means to move and conduct ourselves…

The Hebrew Word translated “counsel” means advice, strategies and ways.

Brian Troxel

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