When I was praying the other day, this phrase dropped into my heart, "prayer keeps you from pride". As I was pondering on these words, I suddenly realised that the opposite is also true, "pride keeps you from prayer". [Sigh...] I know too well what that means - from experience!
Seeking Heavenly Wisdom
Wisdom cries out in the street; she utters her voice in the markets. [...] whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure from fear of evil.
The Bible tells us that wisdom is "the principle thing" (Prov. 4:7) and that it is to be desired and sought after (Prov. 2:4). Wisdom is extremely precious (Prov. 16:16) and there are endless promises in God's Word for those who acquire this treasure.
True wisdom comes from above, it is heavenly and pure, and God wants to bless us with this priceless gift (James 1:5). It may be foolishness to many, but what a blessing to those who understand its worth!
Wherever we are on our faith journey, there is always room to become wiser and none of us can say that they have attained perfect wisdom and understanding. But we continually need to seek this wisdom to enable us to mature and grow in Christ. This is a lifetime endeavour as we fix our eyes on Jesus and desire Him, who is the ultimate Wisdom of God.
This post could also have been called "the way we want others to see us" or "how we love to be seen in a good light" or something along these lines; but I thought "Show and Tell" was shorter and sweeter... It is about what we SHOW others and what we TELL others about ourselves through what we do. I was reading Matthew 6 recently and it became clear to me that it was all about that beautiful image of ourselves we like to project to other people.
(Please read "The 2 Sides of God" before reading this if you haven't as this is the continuation)
So the Old Testament reveals God mainly as a holy God and the New Testament reveals Him mainly as a God of love in Jesus Christ. Because He is holy, He is a righteous Judge who has to punish our sins. But because He is also love, He comes down to earth as a man and receives the just punishment Himself on our behalf, so we can be forgiven and cleansed by His blood.
Thanks to the price paid on the cross, we are now back in fellowship with a holy God and we have access to His presence. We are proclaimed "not guilty". Our debt to God has been paid! If it stopped there,
God reveals Himself in His Word as a personal God who has a clearly defined character. He does not change and He always acts according to who He is. Like the 2 sides of a coin, His character is made up of 2 main aspects as is alluded to in Romans 11:22.
"Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God..."
God's goodness flows from His love and God's severity flows from His holiness. So let us say that heads is "love" and tails is "holiness".
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 that "God is love". This is who He is, not something that He has. He does not possess love, He is pure love.
There is a very low vision of marriage and family in society. People’s attitudes towards marriage have changed and it has become very self-focused, centred around pleasure, success, gathering of material wealth... People are in it for what they can get out of it.
The idea of covenant, commitment or sacrifice has been lost. We live in a selfish, self-centred world that lives to be entertained. What we need is the vision of marriage from God’s Word. God has a great vision for it. He sees something awesome and of great value in it...