Happy New Year! What are your plans for 2015? Spend more time with family and less time at work? Get healthy? Lose weight? Get a better job? Make more money?
If you look to the wisdom of the world about the importance of planning your life, you’ll see things like this:
- Planning gives you purpose
- Planning gives you direction
- Planning puts you in control
- Planning gives you power
- Planning gives you hope
- Planning gives you balance
- Planning gives you peace
- Planning gives you freedom
While those sound like good ideas for planning your life, think about this question for a few moments. What about God’s plans for your life? What does He have in mind for you to accomplish? Could it be that God’s plans for your life are better than what the world’s plans?
“We will pray for you.”
“You are in our prayers.”
Look familiar? It should. Those are the words often written in the comments section of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media. Someone we know shares a problem, a challenge, a prayer request and we have to make a decision. Do we respond or not? Do we just click the ‘like’ button and move on or take a minute to leave a comment? If we leave a comment, what do we say? If we say we’re praying for them, are we? Will we?
Jesus shared this advice about prayer in the context of not doing charitable deeds before men to be seen by them.
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6
Jesus said that if people pray to be seen by others, they “have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Why? Because hypocritical people do that “that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” (Matthew 6:1-2) That seems like good advice when we consider commenting publicly on social media about our intentions to ‘pray’ for someone, but how does that affect us in a social media setting?
God is “all wise.” That may sound simple, but its depths no man knows.
“… to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever.” Romans 16:27
“Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Corinthians 1:20-25
Every time God says something – stop and listen. God does not waste words or actions. He’s Perfect and does all things perfectly. When God brought Israel out of bondage to Egypt and spoke with them in the wilderness He wanted the Israelites to listen to Him. Why? Because He knew what was best for them. That is true today. God saves us from the bondage of sin and death and speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit. He expects us to listen to Him because He knows what’s best for us.
As we bring this special series about Teaching Wisdom to Our Children to a close, for now, here’s an example of God’s Wisdom that children need to learn, understand and obey in order to be successful in bringing God glory during their life on earth.
We continue today sharing a GraceLife article written almost 15 years ago at the beginning of the Third Millennium A.D. These were thoughts about the new millennium at the beginning of the new millennium. I’m thinking now about how the first 15 years of the millennium have gone for Christians and the world God called us to reach with the Gospel. This is the second part of that article. If you haven’t read the first part, you may want to do that now.
Also, I’m curious what you think about what this article says about Christians and Christianity, about the Gospel and the people who need to hear it. Please share your comments with us and we’ll include them in the section below the article. Thanks!
Not too often, but sometimes, I’ll look back at GraceLife articles from many years ago to get some perspective on how we’re doing. Some of the articles go back more than 30 years, but this one is more recent. I wrote it at the turn of the millennium while thinking about what was ahead for the Body of Christ on earth. Now that same article may help us look back on how we’ve done during the past 15 years and what we can do better in service to our Savior, Lord and King, Jesus Christ in the years to come.
The fifth step to Teaching Wisdom To Our Children is to lead them to understand the power of the influence of things. That includes money and possessions. Both have been the downfall of millions of people through history.
A simple way of explaining the process from enticement to wise results is found in the first chapter of Proverbs: “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not…My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path.” If someone entices you to sin, don’t do it. Easier said than done, I know, but the fact remains that if we don’t consent to the enticement to sin, we won’t commit that sin.
“An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” Jeremiah 5:30-31
I’d like to share a tragedy with you that’s going on right now in our land. It truly is “an astonishing and horrible thing.” Preachers are lying from the pulpit, religious leaders are ruling God’s people in their own power and, sad to say, God’s people love it that way.
Even though these are the words of God to Jeremiah the prophet more than 2,600 years ago, they may as well be God’s words to the Church today. What a mess.
Wisdom About Friends
Your child will probably have scores of friends during their lifetime. What their friends do and say will impact your child’s life in some way. Will it be positive or negative? Will your child’s friends lead them toward or away from commitment to God? These are serious questions that will have a big impact on your child and on you.
“Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:5-7
In the last part of our study we looked at verse 5 – “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name.” Now we move to verse 6 – “among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.” Even though it’s a different verse, it’s part of the same sentence.
Paul is reminding the Christians in Rome that they are part of the special ministry God gave to Paul – “we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name.”
Wisdom About Friends
The second lesson in selecting friends is that a good friend is loyal. They will not desert you, especially during tough times. They will always stay close to you and care for you. They will find ways to share your burden and lighten it whenever and wherever possible. They will enourage and support you.
“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17