Tag Archive | Wisdom

In the Beginning God Created

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

 

Discovering Truth:

 Every wise woman … Why do we return to Genesis in our study of the wise woman?  There are some very important reasons.  Genesis gives us the foundational truth that God is the Creator.  Some people do not think that it matters whether we believe that God is the Creator or not. The truth, however, is that it is of the utmost importance.  Before revealing anything else about Himself, God revealed that He is the Creator.

That one fact determines that He designed the Creation as He determined, in all His wisdom.  He made things to work together according to His plan.  It also gives Him the right of authority over His Creation.  He alone was worthy to rule and reign over His Creation.  But He chose to make mankind in His own image and give him dominion over His Creation.

Take time to read Genesis Chapter 1.  As we read Genesis 1, we see the Almighty God at work. He speaks, and His work is done.  Day after day, He speaks, and His work is done. What a Mighty God!

We also discover His evaluation of His Creation. Day by day, He declares that His Creation is good.

Why must we know these truths? As we begin our study of the wise woman, we must discover God’s wisdom – not the world’s wisdom and not our own wisdom.  God alone was the Creator, and He created it all according to His wisdom.  We will soon find how, in that wisdom, He formed the man and the woman, and it is there where we will first get a glimpse into His wise intentions for the man and the woman. May the eyes of our understanding be opened!

 

Personal Reflection:

It was about twenty-five years ago as I sat at my small kitchen table, with red pencil in hand and papers spread out across the table.  I had some questions that continually reeled through my mind.  I knew that through prayer and study of God’s Word, the answers could be found.

I could recall the time that I had questioned who Jesus really was, and it was in the Bible that I had found the answers.  I could recall the time that I was plagued with questions and doubts, when I uttered the simple prayer, “Lord, increase my faith!” and The Lord brought a new Bible study into the church that I attended.  I could remember how, through that study, I was forever changed by the Word of God.

So here I sat with scattered piles of papers.  This occasion was before the days when everyone had a home computer, so I had asked a friend, who did have a computer, to do me a favor – to print out the major passages of Scripture that were written directly to women or specifically about women and send them to me.  And here they were.  I knew that if I could lay the Scriptures side by side and compare scripture with scripture, The Lord could answer my questions.

I had learned, in my Christian life, that you could find multitudes of books about multitudes of topics, and you could listen to many different opinions and voices, but you would not find a consistency and continuity among them. So, for me, the solution had become to put aside those things and just see what the Bible says.

And now, with verses before me and a prayer for The Lord to show me truth, I started my search.  With my red pencil, I would mark similar words, similar thoughts, and similar passages.  The search continued for quite some time.  What I discovered was amazing! There was really no confusion at all!  The Scripture was amazingly consistent!  Growing up in the days of “women’s lib”, the world had successfully clouded and confused the issues regarding women.  But sitting here at my kitchen table, there was no confusion.  No confusion at all, just a calm sense of rejoicing over truth!

The first important truth that I discovered was to begin at the beginning.  As Jesus taught about marriage in Matthew 19 and in Mark 10, He referred His listeners back to the beginning – all the way back to the Creation account in Genesis.

Then as the Apostle Paul taught in the book of 1 Corinthians 11 about the man and the woman, he referred those saints back to the beginning – all the way back to the Creation account in Genesis.

Next, in the wonderful exposition on marriage in Ephesians 5, the Apostle Paul again takes us back to the beginning – all the way back to the Creation account in Genesis.

And again, as the Apostle Paul writes to young Timothy in 1 Timothy 2 regarding order in the church, here the same truth is found. He takes Timothy back to the beginning – all the way back to the Creation account in Genesis.

I could see the problem clearly.  As women, we often begin with our selves, our situations or circumstances, and our feelings and emotions.  But the place that I would have to begin was at the beginning.  That is where the word of God began, and that is where the writers of the New Testament returned to explain and expound truths about marriage and about women. That is where I, too, would begin – at the beginning.

Another exciting discovery that I made was that these truths regarding marriage were true at Creation – and that before the Fall.  That meant this was God’s perfect design!  I felt a freedom, as a woman, that I had never felt before – a freedom to be what God intended me to be!

I bowed my head and thanked The Lord. I picked up my papers and put them in my manila envelope.  Time to put them away – for today, anyway. Time to cook supper.  But this one thing I was sure of, I would be returning to this little stack of papers. And I would begin at the beginning – with a study of the Creation account in Genesis!  I knew marvelous and freeing truth would be found there!  And I couldn’t wait!

That truly was my starting point in understanding God’s design for a woman, and very specifically for me. I pray that you, too, will be blessed as we embark upon this journey together!

 

So, Until the Next Time:

Give thought and time in prayer regarding God as the Creator.

Give thought and time in prayer praising Him for His marvelous works and great wisdom.

Ask Him to reveal ways that these truths should affect your life.

 

You are worthy, O Lord,

To receive glory and honor and power;

For You created all things,

And by Your will they exist and were created.

Revelation 4:11

 

 

 

In the Beginning God …

Discovering Truth:

Our topic is wisdom – becoming a wise woman.

Where shall we begin?

Let’s begin where God Himself begins – in His Word. In the beginning God …  Genesis 1:1. God was there … in the beginning … before anything or anyone was created.  There He was!  In all His glory, His majesty, His power, His wisdom, and His goodness.  There He was! That is really a greater truth than our minds can grasp, but there He was!

By His own goodness and power and by His own determined will and design, He moved upon the face of the earth. And that is where wisdom on this earth began.

Listen to Proverbs 3:19: The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens.  God’s wisdom was there. His wisdom is still here, and His wisdom will exist throughout eternity.

So, for us, mere created beings, we can never know wisdom apart from the Creator.  There is no true wisdom apart from Him, and there is no true goodness apart from Him.

To become a wise woman, we must begin with Him.  Our tendency will be to begin with ourselves, our thoughts, our desires, our own lives, and maybe even our upbringing, but those will all fail us.  We must begin with God Himself. God has chosen to reveal Himself and His wisdom through His Word.

And did you know that we have both the written word (the Bible) and the Living Word (Jesus Christ)?  Speaking of Jesus, John explains: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  John 1:1-2

You may be wondering when are we going to talk about being a wise woman.  We will get there, but we can never get there without the proper foundation.  We must build these truths upon truth alone.  We must begin in the beginning – with God Himself and with His Word.

In the beginning … God! Thanking You, Father, that all these centuries later, you are still here!

 

Personal Reflection:

I’ll have to be honest.  After becoming a Christian, I had doubts that would arise in my mind.  I shared with you previously how the Lord had to renew my mind through the study of the Bible.  But I still had to wonder … Was everything that was written in the Bible really true?  Did it still apply today? Could I be sure that it did not have mistakes in it?  How would I be able to decide what parts were true and right and what parts might have error or be outdated?  You can hear the doubts, can’t you?

However, God did an amazing work in my heart to settle all those questions early in my Christian life.  God walked me through the pages of the New Testament to show me what Jesus believed.  It was there where I found that Jesus believed ALL of the Scripture. He even declared that not the tiniest stroke would pass away until it was all fulfilled (Matthew 5:18).  That one truth would have been enough to convince someone, but I discovered so much more.

I found that Jesus Himself believed and referred to some of the passages most often questioned by so many. Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy in the temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4). Jesus validated the Creation account of Adam and Eve when answering the Pharisees’ questions about marriage and divorce (Matthew 19, Mark 10). Jesus referenced Jonah and the big fish as an example of the resurrection showing that He would be in the “belly” of the earth (as Jonah had been in the belly of the whale) for three days (Matthew 12:40).  Jesus explained His second coming by using the examples of Noah and the flood and Lot and the destruction of Sodom.  He even referred to Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt (Luke 17:26-32).  All of those Old Testaments accounts are questioned and even mocked by many, but what I saw was that Jesus believed them.  And He believed all of them, just as they were written.  It was right at that point that truth was opened to me.  If Jesus (my Lord) believed the Scriptures. I could rest assured that they were true indeed.  Settled … settled … settled.  The doubts and questions went away, and a solid confidence in the Word of God was born.  I would believe the Bible to be the Word of God, and I would believe it just as it is written! Case closed. And what a settled heart that brought to me!

 

So, Until the Next Time:

Continue to ask God to reveal ways that you might be thinking according to the world’s wisdom or your own opinions.

Start with God Himself whenever you are seeking to know truth.

Ask God to settle your heart fully that the Bible is indeed the Word of God.

Prepare your heart to receive truth and wisdom from Him.

 

In the beginning God …

Genesis 1:1

 

 

The Beginning of Wisdom

Discovering Truth:

A wise woman? … How could one ever be considered wise?

Surely wisdom must be a quality that can be obtained because the Scriptures admonish the believer to get wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 declares: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom.  And in all your getting, get understanding.

 If wisdom is so important, what exactly is wisdom and how exactly can one obtain it? Proverbs 9:10 teaches that: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

You see, true wisdom begins with God Himself.  He is called “the Only Wise God,” and true wisdom only comes from Him. We begin to gain wisdom when we come to know Him, humbled before Him and possessing a great reverence for Him as the Creator, the Almighty, the only Savior, as He has revealed Himself through the Word of God, and in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Make no mistake. You will also find wisdom in this world, but God declares in 1 Corinthians 3:19 that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  And in Romans 1:22 He describes those who turned away from Him as professing to be wise, they became fools. Truly the world’s wisdom is foolishness to God.

But did you know that we can be foolish in our own thoughts, all the while thinking that we are wise? Romans 12:16 says: Do not be wise in your own opinion.  That is certainly a sobering thought!  We can consider ourselves to be wise in our own thoughts and in our own opinions, but if we do not think according to God’s Word, God’s ways, and God Himself, we are just as foolish as the world!

So … our focus is on “A Wise Woman”. What we will have to do is go to God Himself and let Him reveal His wisdom to us.    Don’t be surprised if, on this journey, you find that you have absorbed a part of the world’s wisdom, or that you find that you have acted foolishly by being “wise” in your own opinions.  It happens to us all! It will take God Himself to renew our minds.

 

Personal Reflection:

When I first became a Christian about 33 years ago, it was the first time in my life that I truly studied the Bible.  I considered myself an educated person, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education, but when I began to study the Bible an unexpected change occurred in me.  I had attended public schools all my life and then completed my education in a secular university.  I had absolutely no idea how much of the world’s wisdom was in me.

The way I explained the change that occurred in me was like this.  I would hold one hand out in front of me with my palm facing up and say, “I thought this.”  Then I would hold out my other hand with that palm facing up, and I would say, “But the Bible says this!”  Then I would be faced with a decision.  I could not keep both.  I would have to throw one out, and that is exactly what I did.  One by one, thought by thought, I threw out my old way of thinking.  And through that process, God changed my way of thinking.  Little by little, He was making me wiser than I had been.  Now, please do not misunderstand.  He is still in the process of conforming me. I have not arrived!  But I am humbled and thankful that He has brought me thus far!  It has been quite a journey, one that I will share as we go.

 

So, Until Next Time:

Spend time asking the Lord to reveal His wisdom to you.

Ask Him to show you ways that you have absorbed the world’s wisdom.

Ask Him to show you ways that you may be “wise” in your own opinions.

Bow before Him, asking Him to conform your life to a life which honors Him.

 

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom.  And in all your getting, get understanding.

Proverbs 4:7

 

 

Wisdom of An Aged Grandmother

The Simplicity of ChristBut I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety,  so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:3

A number of weeks had passed since her stroke.  The ninety-three-year-old grandmother lay bedridden in the nursing home.  No longer able to even turn herself in the bed and unable to see, the only means of communication that existed was failing hearing and impaired speech.  But that is the physical description.  Within this aged shell there yet remained soul and spirit and an active mind.

Occasional visitors came her way.  Many left discouraged over her condition, while others sensed the futility of life.  Not so as I visited the aged widow, for as I left that visit, the Lord spoke deeply to my heart, with a message that I pray stays with me for a lifetime.

On a prior visit, we had discussed the Lord and her favorite passages of the Bible.  I asked if she had her Bible there, with the thought that I might read to her.  Though she had much hearing loss, she could still hear and what’s more, understand those things which were being discussed.  Therefore, I told her that on my next visit, I would bring her Bible.  My intention was that I would read to her, and I would leave it on the bedside table where she could request of other family or friends that they, too, might read to her, if she so desired.  We completed our visit; I kissed that frail forehead and slowly and thoughtfully left the nursing home.

As I had intended, I got her Bible and brought it for our next visit.  We talked of family and friends for a while, of her younger life, of special memories that she had.  I rubbed her arms and shoulders with lotion as we talked of things that were special to her.  I asked if she remembered what I was going to bring her.  She knew well; “My Bible,” she said.  I was going to read to her, but no need.  She began to quote me Psalm after Psalm, without missing a word.  How foolish!  I thought I had something to offer her, but it was she who had something to offer to me.

It was then when she made an amazing statement.  She said, “I am making a list for you.  I’m going to write it down for you.”  Knowing the impossibility of the task of writing for her, I simply replied, “Why don’t you tell me your list, and I’ll write it down.”  In my naivety, I felt that she was going to tell me of a few more items that she would like for me to bring to the nursing home on my next visit.  To my surprise and delight, her list was far different from my thoughts.

The list began: “Remember the power of prayer.”  A little taken aback, I then knew that I was to be very attentive to this list and to the wisdom that this aged grandmother had to offer.  “OK,” I said, “I put that at the top of the list.”  Her reply came quickly, “Trust in the Lord at all times.”  Again, I was speechless, as I realized that she indeed had a message for me.  I asked if there was anything else that she wanted on the list.  “Not right now,”  she answered.  Realizing that she was tiring, I told her that I would keep the list and that we could add to her list later if she would like.

I continued with a few little matters in the room.  As I was preparing to leave, very faintly, I heard, “One more thing.”  “One more thing for the list?” I questioned.  “Yes, love one another.”  I paused, and she said “That’s all.”

There – the list was complete.  Remember the power of prayer.  Trust in the Lord at all times.  Love one another.  As I left the nursing home, I pondered these truths on the drive home.  I was utterly overwhelmed at the simplicity, yet the fullness, of these quivery words.  Over and over, within my spirit, I heard, “The simplicity of Christ.”  It really is that simple, isn’t it, Lord?

In Christianity, we complicate the Word of God and the truth of the gospel.  We get entirely too intellectual, too argumentative, too denominational.  No wonder the Apostle Paul feared that the believers at Corinth would be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Perhaps you, too, are questioning:  “Is it really that simple?”  After a long life, with all that the world had to offer, the great King Solomon summed it up in this way:  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep His commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  The prophet Micah explained it as such:  He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?  (Micah 6:8).

The Apostle Paul, told the believers at Ephesus, as he did with many other churches:  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints … (Ephesians 1:15).  And our Lord Himself taught:  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).

What a simple little list came from that feeble ninety-three-year-old grandmother.  But what profound truths!  And how her words resembled the words of the Lord, and of prophets, apostles, and kings!

I cherish that brief visit, and look forward to our next visit, should the Lord allow.  Will she have more marvelous nuggets of truth?  I wonder if she is lying in that bed making a list for me!

How precious is the simplicity that comes from Christ!