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You dont have to like country to get this song…anyone ever been there though?
You dont have to like country to get this song…anyone ever been there though?
Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. 1 Corinthians 8:1b
The story is told of the time when a venerable Bible scholar met a young seminary student. When the old scholar asked the young student how his study of Scripture was progressing, the student replied, “Oh, I don’t spend any time studying. I trust that when I get in the pulpit God will fill my mouth with the words I should say.” The old scholar replied, “He will fill your mouth alright. He’ll fill it with the east wind!” Because of his lack of study, the young man didn’t catch the scholar’s point. In Scripture, the “east wind” referred to the furnace-like winds that blew in from the desert and withered all it touched (Genesis 41:6).
Perhaps the young student was trying to avoid the pride to which knowledge can lead. All knowledge? Of course not—Scripture presents gaining knowledge as a desirable goal (Proverbs 1:4; John 8:32). But knowledge, if displayed and used arrogantly, can certainly lead to pride. But on the heels of that warning, Paul provides an alternative: “love edifies”—edify meaning to build up, to strengthen. Pride destroys, love edifies.
Use your knowledge—whatever the subject or situation—as a means to love, encourage, and build up others.
Conceit is what makes a little squirt think he is a fountain of knowledge. Unknown
Faith can be lulled to sleep when we are focused on our own comfort rather than God’s plan. Abraham did not fall into this trap. He traded the familiar for the unknown and received many blessings.
Living by faith is the right answer when God calls you to move forward. His call can come to us at any age and in any situation. Abraham was 75 when he began his journey. David was a shepherd boy when he was anointed to be king (1 Samuel 16:11-13). Paul encountered the Lord on his way to arrest Jewish believers in Damascus; after his conversion, he became the Lord’s representative to the Gentiles (Acts 9:1-6; Acts 22:21). Our call may not be so dramatic, but it will always involve moving forward by faith.
Following God will also include times of testing. Abraham, like all of us, had some successes and some failures. The initial call to leave his country was met with strong belief and immediate action. As a result, the Lord promised a great blessing for him and his descendants. But encountering a famine brought a different response from Abraham—a sojourn to Egypt, deception about his relationship with Sarah, and chastisement from Pharaoh. Our response to God’s commands really matters. Through our actions, we can bring blessing or heartache.
Obeying the Lord can be uncomfortable. Those close to us may question our motives or disagree with our decisions. And we may not want to do what God asks. But faith will keep us moving forward in obedience. It helps us stay the course and experience the blessings found in a relationship with Christ.
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” (Matthew 11:25)
The attributes of wisdom and prudence are prized very highly by the world and its leaders, but worldly wisdom and pragmatic prudence are incapable in themselves of comprehending the spiritual concepts in the plan of God. The Lord Jesus, in fact, considered this very truth a cause for thanksgiving! One does not need either education or wisdom to appropriate the true wisdom of God, for even a young child (in fact, only one who becomes like a child) is able to understand true wisdom. “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
The fact that most of the world’s scholars reject the Word of God is not surprising because God promised this would be the case! “It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent,” for “the world by wisdom knew not God” (1 Corinthians 1:19, 21). Genuine wisdom and prudence are found only through the revealed Word of God. There, however, “he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence” (Ephesians 1:8). God desires that our “faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. . . . But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:5, 7-8). The abounding wisdom and prudence of God are hidden from the wise and prudent of the world, but are life and joy to all who come with the believing trust of little children. HMM
When the three accusers were silent, when Elihu had concluded his eloquent address, and Job had no more to say, the Lord himself interposed, and as with a long succession of thunderclaps hushed every heart and voice into awe.
How solemn is that word “Who is this?” Is it a poor, weak, foolish man? Is it Job? My servant Job! Does he speak of that which he cannot understand and venture to complain of his God? Our wisdom is only wisdom when it admits its own folly.
We know nothing of the common things of God, how foolish we are to think that we can pry into his arcana, and lay bare his mysterious secrets. We had better sing with angels, than doubt with devils. The angels all sang, sang together, and sang with one common joy. O for such unanimous joyful praise among men.
The secrets of earth are too deep for us, how much more the mysteries of eternity. One thing, however, is consoling; if we do not see the gates of death open, we know who it is that has opened for us the door of heaven.
Who among us can control the stars or change the seasons?
In all these things the greatness of the Lord, and the nothingness of man are alike apparent. God forbid that a thought of pride should defile our spirit.
Great God! how infinite art thou!
What worthless worms are we!
Let the whole race of creatures bow,
And pay their praise to Thee.
Eternity, with all its years,
Stands present in Thy view;
To Thee there’s nothing old appears;
Great God! there’s nothing new.
2 Timothy 3:1
The Bible makes it unmistakably plain that in the last days, the world will be filled with difficulties, the like of which have never before been known in the history of mankind. In fact, the Holy Spirit was so committed to making sure we understand what will occur in the last days that in Second Timothy 3:1, it is as if He points His prophetic finger two thousands years into the future and specifically foretells what will occur at the end of the age.
Paul wrote these words by inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Second Timothy 3:1: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” Notice that this verse begins by saying, “This know….” The word “know” is the Greek word ginosko, the Greek word for knowledge. But in this verse, it is used in the present imperative tense, which means it is a strong command to recognize that there is something that must be known, must be recognized, and must be acknowledged. Having this knowledge is not optional; it is mandatory.
The verse continues, “This know also, that in the last days….” The word “last” in this verse is from the word eschatos, which points to the ultimate end of a thing—such as the last month of the year; the last week of the month; the last day of a week; or the very extreme end of the age. In other words, the word eschatos doesn’t merely describe the last days in general, but the very last of the last days. It was used in classical Greek literature to depict a place furthest away such as the very ends of the earth. In this sense, it also signified something that is final.
With this word eschatos, the Holy Spirit through Paul takes us right into the end of the age to enlighten our eyes and help us see what the world environment will be like in the concluding moments of the age. Paul goes on to say that “perilous” times will mark that final age. “Perilous” is the Greek word chalepos—a word used to describe ugly words that, when spoken, are hurtful and emotionally hard to bear. It is also used in various pieces of literatures to depict wild, vicious, uncontrollable animals that are unpredictable and dangerous. It always carries the idea of an action, place, person, or thing that is harsh, harmful, and filled with high risk.
This is the very word used in Matthew 8:28 to portray the two demon-possessed men who were so legendary in the country of the Gadarenes. It says, “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.” The words “exceeding fierce” is this same word chalepos. This means the two demon-possessed men were like wild, vicious, and uncontrollable animals, completely unpredictable and dangerous. Simply being in the region near these men placed one’s life in jeopardy because these demonized men were chalepos—harsh and harmful, presenting a high risk to anyone in the region.
Taking the definitions of all these words into consideration, Second Timothy 3:1 could be taken to mean:
“You emphatically must know what I am about to tell you! In the very last part of the last days, in the very end of the age, hurtful, harmful, dangerous, unpredictable, uncontrollable, high-risk periods of time will come.”
Considering the events that have shaken the world in recent years, we shouldn’t be shocked to hear that this is the meaning of Second Timothy 3:1. Dangerous, harmful, high-risk periods of time have already arrived! We are living in a generation that faces world threats no other generation has ever known. As always, the Holy Spirit was correct in what He was trying to tell us.
But why did the Holy Spirit forewarn us about these events? Were His prophetic warnings intended to scare or to fill us with fear? No! The Holy Spirit, as He always has done, wanted to prepare God’s people so they could be spiritually alert and ready to minister to people who suffer harm as a result of the events that will grip the world at the end of the age.
According to Second Timothy 3:1, we are living in an age that will be marked by “perilous” world events. Let us therefore be wise, protecting our minds, our family members, and every other area of our lives by renewing our minds with the Word of God. Rather than hide in fear, let’s get God’s perspective about what we should be doing to help people who have been victimized by this age. Let’s move out with the power of God and be ready to minister to those who have suffered harm because of the times in which we live!
Lord, You designed me to live in these last days according to Your great plan. Because You are in charge of my life, I know it’s no mistake that I am alive in this generation. Since these days are filled with greater risk than any other generation has ever known, I need faith to face these times victoriously. I need wisdom to minister to others who are wounded and hurt. So today I ask You to help me embrace this time as a part of my destiny and to become strong in faith so I can reach out to those who are near me and who need spiritual assistance! Help me to recognize their need and to know exactly how I should respond to help them.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
I declare by faith that I am chosen and equipped to live in this last generation. The Word of God protects my mind, my family, and everything that is a part of my life. I will renew my mind with the Word of God and get God’s perspective about what His role is for me in these last days. Therefore, I will be a blessing and a help to people who have been victimized by these difficult and trying times. Rather than hide in fear, I will move out with the power of God and stay ever-ready to minister to those who have suffered harm because of the times in which we live!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
If Jesus Christ were the CEO of a “for profit” company, what would be its objectives?
1. “TO HONOR GOD IN ALL WE DO.
Jesus: “I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do.” (John 17:4 niv)
2. “TO HELP PEOPLE DEVELOP.
Paul: “We [teach] every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28a)
3. “TO PURSUE EXCELLENCE.
Paul: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8 niv)
4. “TO GROW PROFITABLY.”
Solomon: “All hard work brings a profit… plans of the diligent lead to profit.” (Proverbs 14:23a; 21:5a)
These are the objectives of Servicemaster, a Fortune 500 Company that provides services to hospitals, colleges, plants, and homes.
Perhaps at the root of many of our conflicts in business lies a confusion about AFFECTION and MOTIVES relative to God, money, and people:
We are to love God and hate money. (See Matthew 6:24)
We are to serve people and use money. (See Philippians 2:3; Ecclesiastes 5:19)
When we reverse the order, God simply removes His hand of blessing from our efforts. Work then deteriorates from a divine calling into a chore, and the stress level escalates to exponential proportions.