Posts Tagged ‘ Understanding ’

VerseD: Ecclesiastes 11:5

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
Ecclesiastes 11:5, ESV

We cannot explain how or when a soul is made and put into a baby.

We therefore should not presume to understand God’s plans.

Some? Yes. But not all. Not even the Son knows the hour of His return …

Olive Juice

Do not misunderstand wisdom and get some insight at Proverbial Thought!

There is a game called Mad Gab. This is a game in which your team has to guess what actual phrase or name is hidden in a series of similar sounding words. They are encouraged to say these words out loud to hear the sounds. For example:

Olive ewe

Have you gotten it, yet?

Here is the spoiler:

“I love you.”

(My wife and I follow a similar play on words. We mouth the words “olive juice” to each other. Have someone say it to you (or say it to yourself in a mirror) without actually speaking. It looks like “I love you” is being said.)

Why do I bring this up?

How many times do pastors/churches/denominations or teachers/professors and others hear what they want to hear or read what they want to read from the Bible?

How many people get confused over all of the teachings that are presented in church, bible studies, and in public?

How many people get caught up in the genealogies in the Bible (did they list actual descendants or only important descendants? The names are spelled wrong.) or seeming contradictions?

To really get controversial, how many people try to read evolution, social justice, and/or personal beliefs into their Bibles?

How many people hear God calling them to do something and misunderstand?

How many misunderstand the Gospel?

How often do you do these?

How do we confuse God’s “I love you” with olive juice?

charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
1 Timothy 1:3b-11, ESV

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:20-31

Laughing or Asking?

Asking for wisdom? Go to Proverbial Thought for some help!

How do you respond when God speaks?

Perhaps you say, “God does not speak to me.”

First, you are wrong; you simply are not used to listening. At the very least, He speaks to you through the Bible or through your pastor. There is also prayer, friends, and circumstances. For example, I was recently offered a teaching position in an elementary school, but I do not have a teaching license. How would you respond?

Here are three examples of how others have responded to God:

In Genesis 17-18, God told Sarah and Abraham that they would have a baby.

WP_20140621_001Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”
(18:11-12, ESV)WP_20140621_002

Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
(17:17, ESV)

Sarah basically rolled her eyes and was sarcastic. Abraham laughed in joy and sought understanding.

Likewise, in Luke 1 elderly Zechariah was told he and Elizabeth would have a baby, and young Mary also was told she would have a baby.

WP_20140621_001And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
(1:18)WP_20140621_002

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
(1:34)

Zechariah basically rolled his eyes and was sarcastic, but Mary wanted to more understanding!

In John 1 Nathanael and Philip were called by Jesus to be His disciples. When Jesus said, “Follow me” to Philip, he jumped up immediately to tell his brother.

WP_20140621_002Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good WP_20140621_001come out of Nazareth?”
(1:45-46)

Nathaniel’s basically rolled his eyes and was sarcastic, but Philip got excited!

When God speaks, when amazing opportunities arise that seem impossible, when you are expected to do something that seems crazy, how do you respond?

Do you laugh it off as nonsense, or do you get excited about what God might do through you?

What I Call “A Seminarian Prayer” from Thomas Aquinas

Find wisdom in the commentary at Proverbial Thought!

I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.
Philemon 1:6, NIV

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel . . .
Ephesians 6:19, NIV

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Colossians 1:9-12, NIV

Yesterday, I began my educational journey at Phoenix Seminary!

Therefore, I think it is appropriate to start this journey off correctly: with prayer!

I first read this prayer on the blog Walking Christian, posted by the founder Gil Sanders as “A Student’s Prayer by Thomas Aquinas” on October 13, 2012.

I post it today in hopes that any who read this will join me in praying for my education and for your own edification and growth in Christ!

Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.

Take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.

Give me a keen understanding,
a retentive memory,
and the ability to grasp things
correctly and fundamentally.

Grant me the talent
of being exact in my explanations
and the ability to express myself
with thoroughness and charm.

Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in the completion.

I ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.