VIDEO Word of Wisdom

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

Foxfire magazine began in 1966 as a quarterly publication by students in the mountains of north Georgia. The focus of the articles was on primitive Appalachian culture and lifestyles. As articles accumulated, they were gathered and published in The Foxfire Book in 1972. The book was so successful that a total of twelve volumes had been published through 2004. The books represent “the bible” for how to live and prosper in a simple, back-to-the-land lifestyle.

God’s Bible, the Holy Scriptures, is like that for the Christian life. There is hardly a question in life that God’s Word does not shed some light on. Just as skill is needed to live a simple, mountain lifestyle, so skill is needed to live wisely in this world. In fact, the Old Testament word for wisdom is actually the Hebrew word for skill. God wants to give us skill to make wise and godly choices on our journey.

Do you have a question or need direction or wisdom for a decision? Start with God’s Word—it was given to make us wise (Psalm 111:10).

The truly wise man is he who always believes the Bible against the opinion of any man.  R. A. Torrey


Your Amazing Bible – 2 Timothy 3:14-17 – Skip Heitzig

Printed on Our Hearts

Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.  Proverbs 7:3

When Johannes Gutenberg combined the printing press with moveable type in 1450, he ushered in the era of mass communications in the West, spreading learning into new social realms. Literacy increased across the globe and new ideas produced rapid transformations in social and religious contexts. Gutenberg produced the first-ever printed version of the Bible. Prior to this, Bibles were painstakingly hand-copied, taking scribes up to a year to produce.

For centuries since, the printing press has provided people like you and me the privilege of direct access to Scripture. While we also have electronic versions available to us, many of us often hold a physical Bible in our hands because of his invention. What was once inaccessible given the sheer cost and time to have a Bible copied is readily at our fingertips today.

Having access to God’s truth is an amazing privilege. The writer of Proverbs indicates we should treat His instructions to us in the Scriptures as something to be cherished, as “the apple of [our] eye” (Proverbs 7:2) and to write His words of wisdom on “the tablet of [our] heart” (v. 3). As we seek to understand the Bible and live according to its wisdom, we, like scribes, are drawing God’s truth from our “fingers” down into our hearts, to be taken with us wherever we go.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

How has having Scripture stored in your heart benefitted you? How can you begin to internalize more of God’s wisdom?

Loving God, help me to know Your Word intimately that I might live in the way You desire.

God Is in Control of Our Salvation

Ephesians 1:3-14

God’s sovereignty extends over all things. He is omniscient (all-knowing), so nothing is hidden from His sight. And since He is omnipotent (all-powerful), no plan of His can be thwarted. Everything in both the natural and spiritual realms—including our salvation—is under His complete control.

Since sin has darkened minds and hardened hearts, man is excluded from the life of God (Eph. 4:17-18). Therefore, we can take no credit for our salvation. Our rescue began in the heart and mind of God, who chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). God is the one who opened our minds to understand the truth of the gospel, convicted us of our sin, and gave us the faith to believe in Jesus as Savior. From first to last, all of salvation is God’s gift to us.

Why did He reach out to save us? Several repeated phrases in today’s passage give the reason. It was “according to the kind intention of His will” and “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:5-6). We are the beneficiaries of God’s kindness and salvation, by which the spotlight falls on His glorious grace—not on us.

To Be or Not to Be… the real question

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

The verb “to be,” in its various forms and tenses, enjoys wide usage throughout Scripture. Verses employing it, as it relates to us, contain many of the greatest and most precious truths. Consider the following sampling.

Past tense: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God” (v. 10). “You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). “You, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Colossians 1:21).

Present tense: “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven” (Romans 4:7). “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Peter 1:5). “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (1 John 3:2). “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him” (Colossians 2:9-10). Note also our text verse.

Future tense: “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads….and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:3-5). JDM

Divine Visitation

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual [people], but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

—1 Corinthians 3:1

 

I believe that it might be well for us if we just stopped all of our business and got quiet and worshiped God and waited on Him. It doesn’t make me popular when I remind you that we are a carnal bunch, but it is true, nevertheless, that the body of Christians is carnal. The Lord’s people ought to be a sanctified, pure, clean people, but we are a carnal crowd. We are carnal in our attitudes, in our tastes and carnal in many things. Our young people often are not reverent in our Christian services. We have so degraded our religious tastes that our Christian service is largely exhibitionism. We desperately need a divine visitation—for our situation will never be cured by sermons! It will never be cured until the Church of Christ has suddenly been confronted with what one man called the mysterium tremendium—the fearful mystery that is God, the fearful majesty that is God. This is what the Holy Spirit does. He brings the wonderful mystery that is God to us, and presents Him to the human spirit.   COU066-067

Oh Lord, deliver me from carnal attitudes, actions and desires. Give me this morning a divine visitation to purify and cleanse me. Let me sense today the majesty and awesomeness of themysterium tremendiumas I wait upon You. Amen.

 

On Losing the “Oh!”

Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.

—Psalm 83:1

 

Theology seeks to reduce what may be known of God to intellectual terms, and as long as the intellect can comprehend it can find words to express itself.

When God Himself appears before the mind, awesome, vast and incomprehensible, then the mind sinks into silence and the heart cries out “O Lord God!” There is the difference between theological knowledge and spiritual experience, the difference between knowing God by hearsay and knowing Him by acquaintance….

We Christians should watch lest we lose the “Oh!” from our hearts. There is real danger these days that we shall fall victim to the prophets of poise and the purveyors of tranquility, and our Christianity be reduced to a mere evangelical humanism that is never disturbed about anything nor overcome by and “trances of thought and mountings of the mind.”…

When the calm listing of requests and the courteous giving of proper thanks take the place of the burdened prayer that finds utterance difficult we should beware the next step, for our direction is surely down whether we know it or not. BAM086-087

The chief thing is not to listen to yourself, but silently to list to God. JAS171

 

The God Who Is There

John 1:14

Thousands of families take to the mountains or the ocean when summer vacation rolls around. Some even leave their air-conditioned homes, pitch a tent in some chosen spot and live there for a period of time.

Nothing can quite test the endurance of a family like living together in a tent. Whether a two-room deluxe style or the one-person pup variety, camping means togetherness. You’re together—cooking, eating, sleeping. A sudden thunderstorm threatens just as you unfold the tent and lay it out flat on the ground. You pour over the enigmatic symbols that sort out the short poles from the long poles. All the while the kids insist they’re dying of hunger. Mom discovers that Dad must have slept through the entire Boy Scout program. As for Mom, she’s been sweeter. Frustrations mount.

With patience, compromise and undiluted doses of love, the fun may come. There will be those delights of nature you left home for, those warm, fuzzy experiences that delight your heart. There may even be some unimaginable insight that explodes in the soul and changes who you are forever. But make no mistake; it will cost you something.

God promised Moses that He would pitch His tent and dwell in the midst of His people. It is a central theme throughout Scripture. From Exodus to Revelation we find the imagery: a holy God “pitching His tent” among His people. In the familiar passage in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh, and made His dwelling among us,” the Greek work for “dwelling” literally means to “pitch a tent.”

Talk about leaving the air-conditioned order and serenity of suburban living! God left the perfection and unimaginable beauty of heaven where legions of angels sang His praises, to pitch a tent among unholy people.

He is, in Francis Schaeffer’s words, “the God who is there.” He is personal and among us in a way that is extraordinarily reassuring but disturbing. We cannot avoid Him or revoke His claims upon us.

To bring us to the highest and best our souls can become He pitched His tent among us. Our Lord took the abuse we hurled at Him all the way to the cross. Yes, when He pitched His tent among us, He was in for the long haul. We can be sure that He has come to stay, even as Scripture reminds us: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Marlene Chase, Pictures From the Word