Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! Romans 11:33
“It seems like the older I get, the wiser you become. Sometimes when I talk to my son I even hear your words coming out of my mouth!”
My daughter’s candor made me laugh. I felt the same way about my parents and frequently found myself using their words as I raised my kids. Once I became a dad, my perspective on my parents’ wisdom changed. What I once “wrote off” as foolishness turned out to be far wiser than I had thought—I just couldn’t see it at first.
The Bible teaches that “the foolishness of God is wiser” than the cleverest human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:25). “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness” of the message of a suffering Savior to rescue “those who believe” (v. 21).
God always has ways of surprising us. Instead of the triumphant king the world would expect, the Son of God came as a suffering servant and died a humbling death by crucifixion—before He was raised in unsurpassable glory.
In God’s wisdom, humility is valued over pride and love shows its worth in undeserved mercy and kindness. Through the cross, our unconquerable Messiah became the ultimate victim—in order to “save completely” (Hebrews 7:25) all who place their faith in Him!
Reflect & Pray
When have God’s ways left you confused? How does it help to know His ways are not our own?
Heavenly Father, I praise You for the wisdom of Your ways. Help me to trust You and walk humbly with You today.
The idea of self-sacrifice runs contrary to the values of our culture. Subtle and not-so-subtle messages continually tell us to put ourselves first, demand our rights, and determine our own path. But God calls His people to lay themselves down on an altar as living sacrifices. In other words, we are to be separated from the world and given to the Lord for His purposes.
Considering all that God has done for us in Christ, our response should be deliberate and voluntary submission. We give ourselves and the control of our life unreservedly to the One who has showered us with compassion and mercy by saving our soul from the grip of sin. Wherever He sends us, we go; whatever He requires of us, we do; and whatever He wants, we desire as well.
This is not a one-time decision that forever sets the course of our life; rather, it’s a daily surrender to His will. At each moment, we have the option to grumble about our situation or to acknowledge God’s right to be in charge.
As believers, we’re wise to remember that there is no better choice than to wholeheartedly trust our God, who has infinite knowledge, unfailing love, and almighty power. To crawl off the altar and rely on our limited understanding, self-interest, and human weakness will result in rebellion and its difficult consequences.
To become a living sacrifice to the Lord is not only a duty but also a privilege. When we fully surrender to Him, He will transform us into the image of His Son Jesus, use us to further His kingdom, and bless our life with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
Here John is writing to Christians, and his epistle is full of exhortations to the Christian to purge sin from his life, with grave warnings to any who do not. Yet, he also says that for a Christian to claim sinless perfection is self-deception. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10).
Only by Jesus Christ Himself could such claims be truly made. The greatest theologian, Paul, said concerning Christ that He “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). His closest friends, Peter and John, said that He “did no sin” (1 Peter 2:22) and that in Him is no sin (1 John 3:5). His betrayer, Judas, said, “I have betrayed the innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4); His condemning judge, Pilate, said, “I find in him no fault at all” (John 18:38); and His executioner said, “This was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47). Christ Himself claimed human perfection: “For I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29).
Jesus Christ alone was sinlessly perfect in His human life, and it was because of this that He could die for our sins. It is arrogant for one of us to claim a state of perfection, thus leading such a person into repeated assertions of boasting and self-justification, trying to explain why apparently sinful behavior is not really sinful. Even Paul himself acknowledged: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect” (Philippians 3:12).
But between these two key verses in John’s epistle, he gives us the moment-by-moment remedy for sin in a godly believer’s life: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). HMM
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
—2 Corinthians 4:3-4
The uncomprehending mind is unaffected by truth. The intellect of the hearer may grasp saving knowledge while yet the heart makes no moral response to it. A classic example of this is seen in the story of Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. In his autobiography Franklin recounts in some detail how he listened to the mighty preaching of the great evangelist. He even walked around the square where Whitefield stood to learn for himself how far that golden voice carried. Whitefield talked with Franklin personally about his need of Christ and promised to pray for him. Years later Franklin wrote rather sadly that the evangelist’s prayers must not have done any good, for he was still unconverted….
The inward operation of the Holy Spirit is necessary to saving faith. The gospel is light but only the Spirit can give sight. When seeking to bring the lost to Christ we must pray continually that they may receive the gift of seeing. And we must pit our prayer against that dark spirit who blinds the hearts of men. BAM062-063
Lord, I’ll do my part today to share the gospel with anyone You’ll bring my way. But Holy Spirit, I’ll wait for You to open eyes and give sight. I’ll leave the results with You. Amen.
The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.—Isaiah 54:10.
There hath not failed one word of all His good promise.—1 Kings 8:56.
There is a persuasion in the soul of man that he is here for cause, that he was put down in this place by the Creator to do the work for which He inspires him, that thus he is an overmatch for all antagonists that could combine against him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent; and can do whatsoever He please. Let us rest there awhile—He can, if He please: and He is infinitely loving, willing enough; and He is infinitely wise, choosing better for us than we can do for ourselves. God invites and cherishes the hopes of men by all the variety of His providence. He that believes does not make haste, but waits patiently, till the times of refreshment come, and dares trust God for the morrow, and is no more solicitous for the next year than he is for that which is past.
“I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.” Ezek. 34:15
Under the divine shepherdry saints are fed to the full. Theirs is not a windy, unsatisfying mess of mere human “thought”; but the Lord feeds them upon the solid, substantial truth of divine revelation. There is real nutriment for the soul in Scripture brought home to the heart by the Holy Spirit. Jesus, Himself, is the true life-sustaining Food of believers. Here our Great Shepherd promises that such sacred nourishment shall be given us by His own self. If, on the Lord’s Day, our earthly shepherd is empty-handed, the Lord is not.
When filled with holy truth the mind rests. Those whom Jehovah feeds are at peace. No dog shall worry them, no wolf shall devour them, no restless propensities shall disturb them. They shall lie down and digest the food which they have enjoyed. The doctrines of grace are not only sustaining, but consoling: in them we have the means for building up and lying down. If preachers do not give us rest, let us look to the Lord for it.
This day may the Lord cause us to feed in the pastures of the Word, and make us to lie down in them. May no folly, and no worry, but Meditation and Peace mark this day.