Wisdom

Wisdom can be defined as the proper use of knowledge.  Knowledge is basically information whereas wisdom is the proper use of that information. 

The application of wisdom falls into three distinct arenas.  The first arena is on the personal level and has to do with your personal proficiency.  Itdeals with your skills and abilities.  These skills and abilities can be improved by training and experience.  There are at least five characteristics that enhance an individual’s personal proficiency.  First, they are focused.  They have a goal and it is predominate in their efforts and they are constantly moving toward it.  They do not allow distractions to keep them from it. 

Second, they are organized and they have learned not to waste motion or action.  Any distraction from that goal requires additional energy, resources, and time and can defeat the main effort by exhausting your provisions to reach your goal.  My dad used to advise me to “work smarter, not harder” to underscore this truth.

A third characteristic is efficiency, which is thinking about what you are doing and practicing it repeatedly.  By doing this you discover how to remove wasted motion and the end result is that you make it look easy.

A fourth characteristic is diligence.  They neither give up nor quit.  Staying at the task is vital in order to accomplish it.   After all is said and done it still requires a full investment to do it.  Equally important is protecting against burn out which requires a balance of effort. 

Finally, they finish well.  Completing a job is not only satisfying but it is also a vital part of the effort.  They tie up loose ends with the three R’s of RESTORE, REPLACE and RETURN.  They restore their tool’s function by fixing what’s broken and repairing what is worn.  They replace what is used up and worn out and they return what is to be used again to its place.

The second arena of wisdom is in Proper Prudence.  Thisarena addresses professional practices with others and involves living a productive and generally successful life.  In this arena you deal with people and all of their faults and failures.  They are not always kind or helpful but rather they are mostly selfish, short sighted and hurtful as they are in darkness and have not know God or his ways.  Here it is not a matter of just being right but a reflection of the grace and wonder of God, Himself.  Sometimes we must bear the burden of their error in order to reach them in their darkness. 

Honesty and fairness in your business dealings are good examples of how to relate to people who are walking in darkness.  Truthfulness and dependability are also spotlights that expose God.  Humility is the alternate to the proud, and respect will set you apart from those who ridicule.  These are but examples of proper prudence that say you are important and I value you.  This wisdom comes from God and requires a dependence on Him to work His wonder.  It is not a compromise nor is it flattery but must be genuine in its application and an expression of faith in the Lord.

The third arena of wisdom is Philosophical Principles.  This arena addresses the profound issues of human existence such as good vs. evil, human suffering, the basic questions of life (Who? What?  When? Where? And Why?) with an emphasis on the Why of life.  Answers in this arena come down to the Sovereignty of God and ultimately we must trust Him; especially when we do not understand.  Yet, struggling with these principles we come to understand God better.  The book of Job is a classic example of this arena of wisdom.   Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is personified (looked at as though it was a person)as a woman who would bring many blessings when heeded and curses when it was rejected.  It is contrasted to three types of persons; the inexperienced, the mockers and fools, all of which reject wisdom and its ways, and ultimately end in death.  Life is full of challenges and difficulties and wisdom will enrich the journey while life without it will be an endless struggle and ultimate defeat.

Judge Not

I have attached a list of Scriptures below that should be studied together to see what the Lord had instructed concerning the common directive that is so often quoted out of context.  The phrase is “Judge not lest ye be also judged” and is used to silence those who disagree or would condemn an action. 

The verses (Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37) were a part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount, where Jesus was instructing those who would live righteous in this world.  They were not given as prohibitive and all encompassing laws but rather the prohibition of devaluing others.  The words “judge not” simply means do not pass judgment or condemnation and has to do with a person’s worth.  It does not mean to have no opinion or discernment about an action but rather to not allow that discernment to lessen that person’s value to you or to God. 

A good example of this is iron in its natural state is rust mixed with soil and has no apparent value.  When that Iron is mined and processed, the impurities are removed and heat is added, along with other minerals is specified amounts, it becomes steel that becomes quite strong.  Because we see others in their raw and impure form we should not consider them of no value, but God knows what He has in mind for each of us and that is of great value to Him.

When placing these verses along with the other verses such as I John 4:1 where we are commanded to “try the spirits”, it sounds like a contradiction, but it is not.  Even though we are forbidden to pass judgment on a person’s value, we are commanded to measure the spirit behind the action and to know if that spirit is of God.  These are two completely different responses to two completely different applications for two completely different reasons.  Judging deals with another person’s value in his service for comparison, while discernment addresses the spirit behind the action for the benefit of the fellowship.

Further, discernment is based upon the fruit of the individual which exposes the spirit directing the action.  Mt 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.   Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Jesus went on to say in John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  It simply cannot be that we are directed to “judge not” in one place and then “Judge righteousness judgment” in another place unless there is a difference of application.  The answer is that we are forbidden to pass judgment based upon appearance (respect of persons) but we are commanded to discern the force behind the actions.  We are commanded to examine the fruit and the witness of the Spirit of God. 

Another point is that we should listen and follow those whom God has placed as our spiritual leaders who have given their lives into His service and have grown into spiritual maturity.  These gifted leaders are chosen by God and given to the church to equip the membership.

In summary then, we are not instructed to disregard sinful or evil activity, but rather, to stand on principles and against evil spirits, not against people.  The person is not the problem but the evil spirit must be confronted.  This is why we should pray for our pastor and church leaders as they stand between evil forces and the church and we are to support them.

Mt 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

 Lu 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

 Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 1Co 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. {judgment: Gr. day}

******************** versus *********************

1Jo 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Mt 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

 Mt 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

1Th 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Why the Trials?

For the past two weeks I have had computer problems and could not log in to my own site.  I just got the problem corrected and now I am back on line. 

For some time now I have had a problem that I continually had to work around.  I could not open my start button.  It (my computer) suddenly decided to stop working and I spent days trying to fix it with two different IT specialist who also had trouble with it.  I finally had to save my documents and completely wipe my hard drive and then reload everything.  When I got it reloaded for some unknown reason it would not recognize my password.  Just a few moments ago that problem was resolved and now you are getting my apologies for my lack of input. My computer is now working properly and it is so great to have it fixed.

During the time I have been wrestling with this problem it seemed that everything had been turned upside down.  My schedule was in shambles and my control was nonexistent.  This is much the same as the world dealing with the Corona virus or any other chaotic moment you may be going through.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  In looking at this verse I realized that it is not an uncommon event in the lives of Christians, rather, it is the norm.  Christians will have multiple such events that push them beyond their limits.  There is a very good reason for that because it isn’t until you are put under such condition that true growth can happen.  A body trainer will tell you that this is where you get stronger than you were before.  This is where your limits are stretched, your vision expands, and your faith is validated.  It was in this light that Jesus said in John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  The discipleshad hoped that Jesus would set up His millennial kingdom and that they would reign with Him.  They knew nothing of Jesus’ death and the coming of the Holy Spirit who would lead them into all truth.  The journey was vitally important in preparing them for the final destination. There will be a time when we can rest with the Lord, but now is the time to be molded and sharpened into His image.  The journey through the trials is how we change our minds about everything, and how we are transformed and fitted for eternity.

Trials do another thing for us in that we learn how to think.  The natural man’s inclination is to avoid problems, pain and pressure, and when confronted with them we look for a way out.  This is known as escapism.  The favorite verse for the escapist is 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  This verse is not for facing trials but for facing temptation.  These are not the same thing. Trials deal with barriers to be overcome while doing God’s will but temptations deal with diversions from doing God’s will.  We are not directed to become escape artist but rather we are to be over comers.  There are few rewards that compare to facing a difficult or impossible task and overcoming it.  It does something to you that gives you confidence, and a sense of accomplishment that builds you up in a way that makes it worth the effort.  We think different about difficulty much differently from then on.

It also brings hope.  Before the trial the picture looked impossible but after the victory, we have hope.  Hope that other difficulties can be overcome and that the possibilities can become realities.  We discover that the objective was not in our defeat but in our victory.  The trial only brings out what God had put there in the beginning. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.  Our cheering section is lead by God, Himself.

For Thy Sake

Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Sometimes we read a Scripture that just doesn’t seem to make sense and may even seem contradictory to how we understand life.  One such verse is found in the above verse in Genesis 3:17.  It all seems okay until we get to the highlighted portion of the verse.  We expect God to judge man for his sinful acts of disobedience so the curse of the ground seems right, but the addition of the phrase “for thy sake” just doesn’t seem to fit.  It is because of what we do not know that makes it seem like a displaced phrase.  It would seem that if God wanted to do something for man that He would have made it easier, yet God did just the opposite and made it harder.

In order for the verse to make sense you need to put it in context with God’s plan for man.  Go back to Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  God did not intend that man would be completed by simply forming a body and breathing life into him.  His plan is far more complex and wonderful than that.  The making of man’s body was but a part of the creation of man.  Remaining was the completion of his soul and spirit.  Notice the different words used to describe His work.  First, He “created time and space” (make something out of nothing) and then He made man (fashioned a body out of the dust He had already created.  We know that because the Scriptures uses different words to describe His work (Created and made).  Further, we know that because of the description of the finished product.  Man would be made in the image of God, that in the similitude of God, or in a similar way.  The Bible teaches that God is a Trinity which means that God is known in three persons (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit), yet there is only one God.  The best illustration that I know of a trinity is that we are also a trinity.  I have a body, but that is not all there is to me.  I also have a soul containing my mind and will, yet that does not include all there is to me either.  Thirdly, I have a spirit and yet that is not the whole of me.  It takes all three; body, soul and spirit, to describe the whole of the person I am.  I am body, soul and spirit, yet there is only one of me.  I am made in the image or similitude of God.

Secondly, God said that we were to be made in the likeness of God.  We know that Adam and Eve sinned and that event changed man from a man without sin to a slave of sin.  His will was no longer to serve God but it had been changed to serve himself because the very nature of sin is to reject the authority of God and to make ourselves the authority that governs our lives.   God is great enough to make a way when there was no way to redeem man.  The damage was done and now God had the task of redeeming fallen man and then to complete His image and likeness within man so that his conduct would be in complete agreement with the nature of God. 

To complete God’s likeness will require man to undergo a complete overhaul from a rebellious selfish being into a new creation of God (2 Corinthians 56:17).  Man now must be confronted with his sin and see it for what it is.  The truth of sin is horrible for sin is a degenerating, destructive, degrading, deforming, decaying, and deliberate attack on the authority of God. That nature must die in order for new life to begin.  We will not reject sin until we see it for what it is and reject it like a poisonous snake. 

At this point we are now ready to choose for ourselves who and what will reign over us.  Just as in the garden of Eden there are two choices, The Tree of Life (Jesus) or the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Satan).  You will choose one or the other as there is no other choice (Romans 6:16).  To choose Jesus you will follow Him by faith in Him and His Word.  Once this choice is made, God promises to lay all the charges against you on Jesus; you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide you and to teach you; and you receive the promise of New Life through this world and for eternity.

So getting back to the original question of why is the curse for our benefit.  It is because it is the problems of life that God uses to teach us His ways and His truth.  Without them we would have no way of discovering the consequence of sin and turning from it.  I learn more from my mistakes and failures than I do from my successes.  As I build my life on truth, righteousness and knowledge I begin to take on the appearance of my new life.  Without the struggles we would never let go of sin.

Instructions On Life

Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

1Jo 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him

My wife and I have two favorite Bible teachers that we listen to regularly.  They are Chuck Swindoll and David Jeremiah.  This morning we were listening to Chuck Swindoll and he was teaching on raising children.  He made the point that we need to not just know about our children but that we should really get to know our children on the inside.  After the program, we were discussing his teaching and my wife made the point that one of the reasons that we have difficulty knowing our children is because we don’t know who we are either. 

The conversation then turned to the fact that this is a precipitating characteristic, in that I know who I am partly because of my parents teaching and how I am understood.  If my parents did not know who they were and did not know what values were critical for life, then I would struggle in knowing who I am.  Further, this knowledge comes only from God and His Word.  Therefore, it is critical that we study the Scriptures (Bible) to discover who we really are and what that means.

Another observation we made is that the basics, such as the importance of repetition; respect of authority; consequences; values; relationships; etc., are not emphasized, and in their place we substitute social values (how I am seen) and worldly values of personal gain, enjoyment and position.  Happiness is not a goal, but it is the product of choices. 

A third observation we made is that just one of the great benefits of regular Bible study is that it regulates and directs our prayer life.  All of the answers for what life is about and who I am are in the Bible and if we do not spend time in Scriptures we will only be guessing what the real answers are.  I can never know how to live until I discover the giver of life, Himself.  It is then that I discover His plan for me and how and why I was made. 

Sadly, too many Christians are like the ones in Hebrews 5:12 listed above who are like the baby birds in a nest that always want to be fed but contribute little to securing their own nourishment.  They continually look for someone else to package it in a manner that is entertaining, conclusive and simplified, that requires little from them.  The picture in their mind is that they are the audience at a worship service and the service is for them.  However, the Scripture paints an entirely different picture.  The observing audience is God who sees us following His Word in our individual roles.  We are there to give God glory and honor in the exercise of our faith in Him.  Some will do that by exhortation, some by music, some by carrying out different roles of the service but the one that is least understood and possibly the more important is that of the assembly that we call the audience.  What is their role?  It is multiple and universal in that there are several ways you can demonstrate your faith in God which is the purpose of everyone present.  You can demonstrate your faith in God by your giving.  It is your physical demonstration.  You can demonstrate your praise of God through music which is the expression of your heart.  You can demonstrate your faith in God through your reception and application to your practice, that is take it personal.  God is instructing you.  The preacher is not making the application but it is God, Himself speaking to you through His word.  You can apply your faith in God by your response to His Word in changing the direction of your life to conform to His Word.  That may require a response to the invitation but it may also require you to follow up on how you make decisions, express your love, help, etc.  The worst thing you can do in a worship service is to remain unchanged by the presence of God.  He is worthy of your worship.

We concluded our conversation with the second Scripture in I John 2:27.  There is not excuse I can find that allows me to go on through life floundering because I don’t know how to live.  If my parents didn’t know me well enough, they did teach me what they knew.  No parent knows it all so all of us are to take what we are given and add to that what we can gain.  We shouldn’t blame them because of their failure, rather we should thank God for giving them to us for what we got.  We shouldn’t blame the church because of their failure to provide us with simple answers for life requires us to apply ourselves. The answers have been provided by God, Himself in His Word.  Look again at this verse in I John.  You don’t need anyone to be your teacher for The Holy Spirit is your teacher.  Everyone born of the Spirit has the personal teacher, the Holy Spirit.  It does not matter what kind of situation you come from, whether it was a terrible environment, physical handicap, or even persecution; you have what you need to know what God wants you to know.  Even if you were born to unbelieving parents, in a place where the Scriptures are forbidden, and there are no missionaries and limited means of substance; if you will follow the light you have in doing what is right, it will lead you to know Him.  Where are your choices taking you? The most important choice is to choose to follow Christ and be born again and you will receive the Holy Spirit to guide you.

The Mirror of Your Faith

When trials come, how do you react?  One of the things that I have learned over the past 3/4  of a century is that my reaction tells me where I am in my relationship to the Lord.  There is no argument that your responses to the difficulty of life are the exact reflection of your faith in God.  If you are trusting in the Lord then your actions will be one of faith in Him; and if you are not trusting in Him, then your actions will be one of self-reliance or reliance on someone or something other than God. 

The old saying of “you can fool some of the people some of the time.  You can fool all of the people some of the time.  You can fool some of the people all of the time.  But you cannot fool all of the people, all of the time.”  Of all of the people in the world , don’t fool yourself.  Self-deception is one of the most deadly and frustrating lives that you could ever live.  Nothing will make sense and paranoia will most certainly be present.  You will find that you are suspicious of everyone and everything. 

It is vital that you be honest with yourself.  So many times we have a dishonest concept of our self, thinking that we are the greatest, the best, or the answer to whatever comes.  We need to make an honest appraisal of who we are and what we are.  We don’t have to be top dog, standing head and shoulders above the rest.  It is much better to find where you fit in and then you will value the others that are a part of life as well.  Looking at your performance will also aid you in seeing yourself in a true perspective.  Seeing repeated efforts fail can really help you to see the truth about yourself.  Accepting those results is necessary to seeing not only what needs changed but owning them as the truth of your self-observation.

I don’t always like what I see in myself so I am faced with how I will proceed in light of it.  I could justify my actions by some reasoning or I could place the blame elsewhere, or I could deny any fault but none of that will help me the next time I face another trial.  There is only one course of action that will leave me improved and that is to own my actions as the truth about myself.  Only then can I begin to correct my understanding about myself and then change my conduct.  It never works in reverse, I cannot change my actions and then change my understanding about myself. 

As we face this coronavirus pandemic we see various responses.  Some rely only on their-self and they hoard as a means of self-protection.  Some become quite benevolent and make it better for everyone.  Some become anxious and panic because they cannot see a way through it.  Some use the crises to take advantage of others in many ways such as raising prices for profit, offering what they don’t have, etc.  Some come to face their need and turn to the only real solution which is Christ.  Eternal life is only found in Him.

It is not a question of will I die.  It is a 100% certainty that you will die from something, someday.  It is not a question of will I suffer.  That too is a certainty for it is the struggle that strengthens us.  It is not even a question of the survival of the nation for every nation that has ever existed in the past have fallen, but life has continued because God is the one who is in control and holds all nations and people in His hand.  I am amazed that the greatest economy the world has ever seen has been brought to its knees in a matter of a few months.

So what is ahead?  It would be foolhardy for me to predict as the Lord has not told me to share such a message.  I can tell you this.  I am not nearly as concerned about what the future holds as I am about how I stand in the midst of this trial.  My prayer is that I can honor my Lord in how I stand.  My faith is in Him and not in how I come out.  He’s got this and I know that you or I don’t.  He holds all the blessings and we should look to Him and not to a government, a provision or ourselves for the solution.

Getting To Know God – 5

God is Righteous

When we look at the righteousness of God it is like a cut diamond.  There are so many different facets that the sum of each facet works together to compose the beauty of the whole.  The one word righteous is a description of the character and nature of God, diffused into all areas of life. 

The word “righteous” is defined in the Old Testament as “just, lawful, and equitable”.  It is both stable and consistent in all situations.  It is fair and therefore reasonable.  It is does not excuse the guilty but it does not stand in the way of restoration.  It considers all possibilities for all that is involved to find the most equitable resolution. 

Righteousness requires that the standards of righteousness be met.  Jesus asked, “can two walk together unless they be agreed”.  In order for God and man to be in agreement, they must meet on common ground.  Since God cannot change, then man must meet God on His terms.  This presents a real problem because man is sinful and God is Holy.  Man cannot raise himself to God’s standard because of his sin, and God cannot change to become sinful, we have an impossible situation.  No amount of effort or good works can change the sinful nature of man, therefore God has provided a way for man to be reconciled to God in His meeting the demand for justice in paying the cost for man’s sin (Death) in meeting that requirement Himself on the cross, and there by giving man the choice to be justified for his sin nature.

It is the righteousness of God that made the way for helpless and hopeless man to be justified.  God didn’t look on man’s condition as one of alienation but as one that can be redeemed.  He isn’t against man but He is against sin for sin is a rejection of His very nature. Man must make the choice to either accept God’s nature or choose to keep the old sinful nature that he is born with.  To make that choice is to also choose the consequences that it brings.  Therefore man chooses his outcome and destination.  God doesn’t want anyone to end up in hell as the Bible says, “It is not God’s will that any perish”.  Hell wasn’t made for man but was made for the devil and his angles.  God doesn’t send man to hell but man chooses to go there because he rejects the transforming work of Christ in refusing to follow Him.   

Some of the facets of the righteousness of God include fairness, justice, discernment, purity, Holiness, purity, virtue, and deliverance.  These (and others) are seen in the ways and works of God.  God is often seen as the Judge of all mankind.  While this is true, that alone is an incomplete statement.  He is not just a judge, He is The Righteous Judge.  2Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. He sees beyond the simple act to the intent of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

It is important that we see God as righteous.  While that does include discernment of the truth about ourselves it also includes His love and mercy toward us.  His desire is for us, that is He is ever longing and working for our good and bringing us to Himself and separating us from our sin that would enslave us and ultimately destroy us.

Response Needed

If this website is a help to you, I would appreciate hearing from you.  Where do you live?  What would you like for me to address?  How often do you check in?  How can I help?  My curiosity grows with the passing of time.  I have been doing this blog for over 2 years now and I really would like for your input on how I need to improve it. 

I did get one individual to interact with me recently and he told me that he couldn’t find a place to respond in the Q & A.  I looked at it and found he was right so that has been corrected.  You can go to any part of the site that has a response block to contact me and I will get it.  I am the only one that views your comments and I will not post anything that you don’t want posted.  Further, even if I post a comment I will make every effort to protect your confidentiality.  I do not share the information with anyone or any organization that can be hacked and endanger you in any way.  My sole interest in this website is to share things that will be beneficial to you in your faith walk with the Lord Jesus.

I have tried to let you know who I am and what I am about.  Further information is available in the about section or by request if you do not find it there.  You can review all of my post by searching them by topic or you can review them by date.  You can click on the cloud at the top of each post to drop me a note or ask a question.

This blog is for you and your benefit.  I make no money from it and I purposely do not allow popups and adds that waste your time and insult your intelligence.  I do it because I have been given insights that I want to share and I want to be a blessing, rather than seek a blessing.  I will do all I can do to make this site a true blessing to as many as I can.

Brother Vernon

Getting to Know God – Part 2

God is light

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

In coming to know God, I cannot think of a better illustration of God to the human mind than the concept of light.  God wants for us to know Him as He is, and has taken the initiative in showing Himself to us, using the illustration of light. Light exposes all other materials in time and space just as God exposes Himself beyond time and space.  Light is a pure energy form different from that of other types of matter.  So also, God is a life form beyond life as we know it within time and space.  Light is not to be considered as a perfect definition of God, for He is past finding out, but it is illustrative of who He is.

Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  On the first day of creation, light was introduced as an intricate part of God’s creation.  We learn of our creation through our physical senses and sight is by far the greatest sense to teach is about our environment.  Without light we wouldn’t know anything near what we do know because of sight, which is possible because of light. 

Taking this thought to the next step, John 1:7-9 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.  8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  John the Baptist declared that he was not that light but he also declared that Jesus is that true light.  Since God is light and Jesus is that true light, there can be but one conclusion and that is that Jesus is God.  He declared that He is the light of the world in John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  Then a second time He repeated the claim in John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  Onthis occasion He added that follows Him as a pattern of life will not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life (Jesus).  The Scripture goes on to state, that the purpose of the light is to illuminate (shine) in our hearts in such a way as to expose the knowledge of the glory of God as we behold the Lord Jesus.  2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Scripture goes on to declare additional benefits of walking in the light of fellowship with other believers and the continued cleansing from all our sin.  1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

God is indeed light.  Knowing God better will not only enable you to understand Him but will bring added benefit in understanding the spiritual realm; enhance our relationship with other Christians; and the continual cleansing from all our sin.   

Bits and Pieces

Yesterday was a day of progress in several ways.  I began my day with sleeping in because I was up past midnight.  I took a leisurely shower got dressed and spent time with my wife as we usually do.  I then spent some time in my office catching up on different projects and miscellaneous paper work. 

My wife had a luncheon with one of the ladies at church so I fixed myself some lunch.  I had a meeting with my pastor at 2:30 in which we discussed the status of the latest developments of the Christian Training Center for Eastern Asia, that I am working on.  I shared with him about my meeting in Oklahoma City with a Chinese pastor and his chairman of deacons.  We considered the establishing of the Christian Training Center and a suggestion was made to consider Taiwan as a central location as it was fairly central and visas would be easier. What do you think?

We then discussed the organization plan and objective.  My pastor had given me an assignment to write out my vision of what that was and I went over it with him.  We then considered the target audience and I shared the need I see from my perspective.  This is where I need your help.  Would you write me and share with me your ideas and needs?  I know that I do not have a complete view of the real need but here is what I have so far.  The main target is the new pastor or church leader with little or no training in his role in the church.  The objective is to assist and enable him in his development so that he can equip his people in Christian living.  He will be charged with self-study within the bounds of the curriculum.  Our task is to provide an environment of support and guidance as well as the resources for him to accomplish that task.  To this end we noted that we need the curriculum of specific courses of study and identified the first as being that of walking by faith.  This is a project that I will begin immediately.

To achieve this end, I need your prayers, ideas and input to provide the best program to meet your needs.  I need individuals who the Lord has placed in this time and space to step forward with wisdom, resources, prayers and a heart to be God’s hands and feet for such a time as this.  I need to be sensitive to what the Lord is doing and keep in step with Him. 

After my meeting with my pastor, I met with our pastor of Discipleship and shared with him our present status of this project.  He then shared with me that we have within our church, two additional resources.  One is a project that our church is already working with and that is a similar project in Africa.  He will be getting me in contact with the leaders of that project to see what we can glean from what they have already done and enable us to avoid wasted motion.  The second is an individual who has worked with Eastern Asia radio and how we might utilize that resource in our efforts.  I continue to see God’s fingerprints on every step of this effort and am continually being amazed at what He is doing.

I think that it is important to remember that this is not my project, nor is it our project but that this is God’s project.  He began it and has led it along the way.  We are finding the different resources that He has provided ahead and we proceed based on His power and provision.  In the final analysis, our own development and transformation is His first objective while in the process we become tools in His hands to build His kingdom.