Question: "How can I tap into the wisdom of God?"
For much of August and September the Old Testament selections for Morning Prayer have covered the book of Job. The book has 42 chapters, so we have lived with Job and his friends for quite some time now. We know that Job had a wonderful, prosperous and fulfilling life. We know he loved his Lord. We know how Satan asked to have Job afflicted, first by having his possessions taken by various ways, then by attacks on his body. His family and friends alternately “comforted him” by urging him to blame God and left him alone in his agony, but Job remains steadfast, proclaiming his faith over and over again. Have we not heard talk of “the patience of Job?”
In the end, Satan was sent away and Job repented of his desires to never have been born. He never cursed God, he never lost his love for or faith in God. And he was finally rewarded for his faith. (This is a special part for me because it speaks of the daughters of Job—one of whom bears the name of my daughter and we see that “in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job” (Job 42:15)! Job had wisdom from God, he trusted God, he never lost faith and hope in God.
God reminds Job (and all readers) of His greatness in creating all things and having Power and yet Love and Grace for all his people. All truth is God’s. All Goodness is God’s. All Grace is God’s. And, we’ll add, all Patience is God’s. But most of all, all WISDOM is God’s. Only God could have conceived of an idea of creation and carried it out for it to last to eternity. Only God could lead his people out of Egypt. Only God could bear to send his Son as a sacrifice for all, living, died, or yet to come, and then still love his people, past, present and future. He loves us so much that he blesses us extends grace, providing all we need just to live and come to love Him. Job had this wisdom. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have the wisdom of God?
To tap into God’s wisdom, we must, first of all, desire it and ask God for it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). The promise of Wisdom is that those who desire God’s truth can have it, but it requires giving up the world’s foolish mockery of the truth. “Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
To have the “fear of the LORD” is to have an awed respect of who God is and a reverential trust in His Word and His character, and to live accordingly. He is God! When one is walking in the fear of the Lord, he or she is relying on God’s wisdom in the matters of everyday life and making whatever changes need to be made in light of God’s Word. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). To trust in Christ and yield to His Holy Spirit is to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). As Christians, we walk in the wisdom of God.
So, it looks like, to tap into God’s wisdom, we must already have wisdom, at least enough to come to faith in God. Sounds a bit confusing, but God tells Job that Wisdom begins with the fear of God. Those who reject God and show no love for man are not wise. They cannot obtain the Wisdom of God. In Proverbs, Wisdom calls for a hearing: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings” (Proverbs 1:22–23).
So, Daughters, what do we do? Those who have God’s wisdom will show it in how they live: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13). For the unwise who have rejected God, we must pray for the Holy Spirit to reach them and soften their hearts so that they can come to see their errors and repent. We must also pray for those who have not yet heard the Good News and always be mindful of a chance to spread the love of God and the sacrifices of our Lord Jesus Christ, for such an action is also in the Wisdom of God. In short, our lives of prayer, evangelism and service to the church and to our Lord IS the fear of the Lord. It is what we ought to do. And maybe some day the answer to the question of how to tap into the wisdom of God will be “Seek for one who leads a good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom. Seek out a Daughter of the King.”
Let us pray. Bless, dear Savior, the work your Daughters do for thy kingdom. Pour out your wisdom on us, dear Lord, so that we will ever show forth your love of us. Grant us the joy to see the fruits of our labors and of our offerings. Make Thy word “give and it shall be given unto you,” true also in our experiences that we may be able to continue in the abundant life. Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble. Someday, we pray Thee, let us hear Thee say to us, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We ask in the name of Him who died for us, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elaine Sandberg, Worship Chair
"Lord, What would you have me do?"
Nehemiah Prayer Vigil - Tuesday, September 1 to Thursday, October 22, 2020!
The link below will take you to the National Website for details on our GLOBAL 52 day prayer vigil.
We ask you to join us in praying daily for the healing of our world. Pass it on to your congregations - your friends - your communities…
This from Sharon Lundgren, creator, visionary of The Nehemiah Prayer Vigil:
This week I spoke to Theresa Newell, DOK and CMJ-Israel board member. Theresa speaks Hebrew and knows Jewish culture and traditions. She is thrilled over the Nehemiah Prayer Vigil, and when she learned that we begin on
Tuesday, Sept 1, she was overjoyed. She shared that in Jewish custom, Tuesday is a special day. In the Torah Tuesday is the third day of creation. In the creation story, only on the 3rd day does God say "It is good" twice! So
Jewish weddings and special occasions often are planned on a Tuesday....they are "twice good"! Theresa and I believe it is a sign from the Lord that our vigil beginning on Tuesday, Sept 1 - a sign of HIS blessing!
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.....
And from Celtic Daily Prayer - Book Two page 1305 (Charles Ringma)
"When People seek the God of all wisdom things can happen. Then reconciliation occurs. Forgiveness is extended to others. Enemies come to peaceful solutions. Resources are shared. Divisions are broken down.
Community is built. Joy is experienced. Hurts are healed. And thus the signs of God’s kingdom appear. When this happens, THE GOD OF SURPRISES HAS COME AMONGST US. … God asks us to acknowledge
our sins and to lay down our burdens. The Great Lover reaches out to embrace us and to pour healing into our wounds.”
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
I also attach a printable “compact” version of The Nehemiah Prayer, created by Sandra Squires of Province VI for use by DALs and those without computer access.
Blessings to you all as we begin,
Province VI President / Province Presidents Facilitator ~ The Order of the Daughters of the King®
GRACE, pt. 2
Earlier this year I wrote about God’s grace, emphasizing that, since we have free will, we sometimes believe we do not need God’s grace and sin willingly, sometimes violently. We should realize that God does have grace to offer and we should be open to receiving it. Without it, we cannot come to Him.
Let’s revisit this concept of Grace. There is more to be said.
During the second half of August the selected readings for the daily offices have included the death of Stephen, a faithful apostle of Christ. We know the story of this beloved servant of God, who may have been the one to carry the cross for Jesus on the route to Golgotha. He continued to preach the new faith in Jesus Christ, but was not accepted by the Jews or Romans. After coming once again before the Sanhedran, we learn of his stoning and death. Even as he dies, he asks God to forgive the people.
How could God have allowed Stephen to die? Why did He willfully suspend His grace to his faithful servant and strike down his tormentors? Webster’s New World College Dictionary definition of Grace includes this concept "The unmerited love and favor of God toward human beings; divine influence acting in a person to make the person pure, morally strong; the condition of a person brought to God's favor through this influence.” Sounds as though Stephen qualified! He certainly kept his faith and witnessed to everyone about the blessings of God, even asking God to forgive those who were killing him. What was God doing here? Why wasn’t Stephen saved?
But, back up a moment. Did you notice something in that definition above? It states unmerited love and favor of God toward human beings. And passages in God’s Word enforce this idea:
· Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
· Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
· Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
In other words, God loves us all, sinner, nonsinner (or so he thinks), believer and nonbeliever. He extends His grace to all, allowing all people another chance to come to believe in His love and salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. In fact, in the telling of the death of Stephen, we learn of a familiar figure in Biblical literature: Saul, who hated the Christians and witnessed the stoning of Stephen, even holding the coats of those who threw the deadly weapons. God granted Saul, and others there that day, His grace to live another day, and another day. Until, one day Saul “saw the light,” repented and became the voice of God to many churches and believers. God spared the life of Saul that day, waiting for him to repent and come to a faith in Jesus Christ. God’s grace was not only for Stephen, who was taken to eternal life, but for the stoners and Saul.
It is always difficult to learn of the death of a dear friend or relative, especially now in these days of the Covid-19 affecting so very many. How many times do you find yourself asking “dear God, why him? He had so much faith that You would protect him.” But, of course, God does protect him—from eternal damnation. He gives His grace to all people, even those who do not (yet) believe, those who disobey His commandments, to those who have not yet heard of Him or have even rejected Him. We all receive His grace to live another day to continue our work here on earth: to please Him, to love Him, to spread the news of Him whenever and wherever we can.
So, let’s be about our work! Continue to please Him. Continue to love Him. Continue to spread His Word. It is what we can do, it is what we ought to do.
A Collect for Grace
O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day: Defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that we, being ordered by thy governance, may
do always what is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Elaine Sandberg, Worship Chair