Month: August 2019

Meekness of Wisdom

James 3:13
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”

Written by: Russ Ripley

In 2 Chronicles 1, we read about Solomon and how God appeared to him in the night. God told Solomon, “Ask what I shall give you.” I sometimes wonder what I would ask God for if He asked me. Wealth, fame, good health, or long life? What would you ask God for if He asked you?

In verse 10, Solomon answers God by saying, “Give me now wisdom and understanding to go out and come in before your people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” Because Solomon asks for wisdom and not the things I might have asked for, God gives him wisdom and all of the other stuff. Solomon is then known by his wisdom.

Do you know someone who everyone knows is wise? Someone who everyone goes to when they need answers? I was blessed to know someone like that. Everyone in her family and circle of friends would go to her when they had an issue on which they needed wisdom. Why would so many people go to this one woman for answers? Because she always spoke the truth (wisdom) in love (Eph 4:15). Her willingness to help others always came from a heart that loved them and wanted the best for them, even when the truth (wisdom) she shared was difficult. It came from a heart that loved God and loved others.

Devo Relationships 8.16v2Thought of the day: Do you know someone who others look to for wisdom? Is their wisdom rooted in meekness and a love for others? Jesus modeled this kind of wisdom.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to seek Your wisdom and understanding. Help me to always seek the good of others when I share Your wisdom. Thank You, amen.

I’m Sorry…What Did You Say?

James 1:19-20
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Written by: Matt Swartz

I am by nature someone who can be defensive when it comes to conflict. When things start heating up, I shift into a mode where I listen only to formulate my response. I know this is completely unhealthy. But I also know it comes from a place in me that says self-preservation is the most critical mission in life, which suffocates the ability to really listen when things get messy.

Here is the problem with thinking self-preservation is the critical mission in life: It doesn’t leave room for growth. This defensive posture makes the faulty assumption that my point of view is 100 percent accurate and cannot be challenged. It flies in the face of this challenge from James 1 which says listen first, respond carefully, and avoid anger. This verse deeply impacted my defensive posture because it said that proving I am right is not my mission in life.

Devo Relationships 8.16Thought of the day: When it comes to your relationships, how would you grade yourself on how well you listen? Do you listen to respond or listen to understand?

Prayer: Jesus, help me today to make the choice to be one who listens well in all my relationships. Amen.

His Wisdom vs. Our Wisdom

1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Written by: Alfred Burgess

In this passage Paul says, “Think of what you were when you were called.” Most of us were probably not notable according to the world’s standards. We were not born into wealthy families. We might not claim a huge social media following or have achieved multiple degrees that mark our intelligence.

But God does not choose His children because of their outward appearance or status: “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.” What does this have to do with the gift of wisdom? Paul is reminding us that God’s wisdom and His way of thinking do not align with ours. What the world admires is not the same as what God holds valuable.

In saying yes to Jesus and being made new, we have been given access to His divine wisdom. Through Jesus, we are made right with God and set apart. We are holy! If we are to boast of anything in this world, we are not to boast of our wealth, degrees, or popularity. Our value is based solely on our connection to Jesus. In Him, we are chosen and given wisdom, confidence, and a certain future.

Devo Relationships 8.15Thought of the Day: Thank God today for the precious gift of wisdom given to us through Jesus.

Prayer: God, help me to see Your ways and make wise decisions. Help me to know when I ask You for wisdom, You will grant it. Help me to believe You always desires the best for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Encourage One Another

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it’s called ‘Today’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Written by: Gina Rock

If you were to step into my home, you’d see quickly that I have an affection for houseplants. They are tucked into corners or displayed on shelves. I love the life they breathe, both figuratively and literally, into our space. There’s a learning curve to helping houseplants thrive. I’m no expert, but because I love my plants, I invest time in them by watering, pruning, researching, and enjoying them. I’ve seen firsthand the toll that a season of neglect can take on them. They may droop or wither, their soils’ nutrients might deplete, or they may become a complete casualty. The latter has happened more times than I’d like to admit.

If the life of a simple plant requires so much effort, wouldn’t it make sense that the living, breathing people in our lives may benefit from our investment as well? We live in a world where stress, sickness, sadness, and loneliness are very real things and can deplete our very souls. But we serve a God who is the Creator of all life, the living water, the light of the world, and He cares intimately for each of us.

Devo Relationships 8.13Thought of the day: As we read Hebrews 3:13 about encouraging one another, I wonder who are the “one anothers” in our lives that need to be pointed to or reminded of a God who loves them and can sustain them? Are there people in your family, neighborhood, workplace, gym, or social settings that are thirsty for truth and encouragement? A simple kind word, a verse, a prayer, a smile, or any act of love can point them to a good God who can heal, love, and make well again.

Prayer: God, thanks for loving me and caring for me. Give me eyes to see those around me that need encouragement and to be pointed to You. Amen.

The Right Kind of Wisdom

James 3:17-18
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Written by: Danielle Morgan

Parenthood is such a rich example of our human nature. It exposes our internal desire to know everything, and God is gentle, yet firm, in humbling us.

Before we become parents, we tend to believe we know everything there is to know about parenting. We look at other families and their “misbehaved” children and say things like, “If only the parents would…” or “Someday when I have kids, I will never…”

And then one day you become a parent and everything you thought you knew goes out the window. It’s as if you’ve crossed over to this other side, the veil has been lifted, and you start to understand and even reason with all of those “bad” decisions that other parents made that you previously judged so harshly.

There is a false wisdom that comes from those who claim to know the answers and judge others from their own limited perspective. Sadly, this false wisdom will negatively affect all of our relationships, leaving only broken and hurt people.

But the wisdom from Heaven? That’s the good stuff and one of the most important ingredients for healthy relationships.

We should always be testing our actions to make sure that they are birthed from a pure, holy, and divine wisdom. We should always strive to be peacemakers with everyone, and in doing so, our relationships will start to flourish.

Devo Relationships 8.12Thought of the day: Which relationships in your life are you struggling with or wish were better? The reality is, it takes two to have a healthy relationship and you are only responsible for your own behavior. Is there something in your own life that is keeping you from growing in this relationship? Ask God to reveal areas in your heart that you need to surrender to Him so that you can receive His Holy Spirit to impart heavenly wisdom.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that through Jesus I have access to your heavenly wisdom. Transform me from the inside out and replace my worldly wisdom with Your heavenly wisdom. Help me to live my life in such a way that brings peace to all and touch my relationships so they flourish. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.