Luke- Week 4- Day 3

And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  (27)  And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

Luke 2:26-27

Explanation:

Aspect #3- We should imitate their Wisdom- v.26-27

Notice the wisdom that was accessible to Simeon at this moment.  “And it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost” describes the kind of relationship that this man had with the Lord.  In his faithfulness to God, and in God’s graciousness to Him, God revealed that He would be able to see the Messiah.  What He had been waiting for, God was allowing Him to be able to see.  He knew about this coming Messiah because of what had been written in the scripture by the Holy Spirit.  Specifically, in Isaiah, the Servant, who we know is Messiah, is described.  Simeon would have been highly aware of this scripture.  Remember, He was waiting for the consolation of Israel.  In being a person of the Word of God, the Spirit of God was revealing Himself to Simeon.

We even see this impacting his moment by moment decision in this narrative.  It says in verse 27, “And he came by the Spirit into the temple”.  God was directing Him in that moment to be there when Joseph and Mary were bringing the child, Jesus, into the temple.  They were being directed by the Lord through the Word of God, and He was being directed by the Lord through the Spirit of God.

Charles Spurgeon said about this verse:

“Men who have the Spirit will be led by the Spirit. Simeon came into the temple at the right moment. Just when a young man was entering, with his wife and new-born child, “He came by the Spirit into the temple.” He came in, I say, at the right time. Did ever anybody, who was not led by the Spirit, find Christ? Somebody has come in here tonight, and he does not know why he has come; but he has been led here by the Spirit that he may see Jesus, and may have such a sight of him as shall be his salvation. God grant that it may be proved that many an aged Simeon has traveled here this Sabbath night, led by the Spirit for this purpose, to find the Saviour in his own house!

Application:  

The only way to consistently live with anticipation of Christ’s return is to be led by the Spirit.  We must be inundated with God’s Word in our lives.  The only way to have true wisdom is to think the way God thinks.  The scripture is the written expression of the Wisdom of the Spirit of God.  To be “filled with the Spirit” is to let the “word of Christ dwell in you richly with all wisdom”. 

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;  (19)  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Ephesians 5:18-20 

Notice the parallel in Colossians.

(20)  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16 

When you study these passages, you will see that to be “filled with the Spirit” and to “let the word of Christ dwell with you richly in all wisdom” produce the same results.

To live a life that is controlled by the Spirit is to know what the will of the Spirit is by what He has written it in His Word.

Response:

  • Are you being led by the Spirit? 
  • Are you living a life of wisdom? 
  • What’s your relationship with the Word of God daily?

God Intervenes- Isaiah- Week 3- Day 2

For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

Isaiah 7:8-9

Explanation:
Today’s text continues a poetic statement that Isaiah started in verse 7. He is speaking to Ahaz, King of Judah, the words of God Himself. He has already told Ahaz of the plot of the kings of Syria and Ephraim (the northern kingdom of Israel) to overthrow Judah and Jerusalem in verses 1-6. He had also assured Ahaz that their plot would not come to pass. God was intervening both by telling him what was happening and what would happen. In this part of the poem (v.8-9) God foretells of the breaking of Ephraim. There would be an exile of those people. Eventually there would also be foreign settlers that come in, all within 65 years.
The end of the statement, in verse 9, is interesting. “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.” God was telling Ahaz that if he were to believe God and act based on what God was telling him then his actions and leadership would be established. He’d make the right decisions moving forward. If he would not believe God, then his decisions would be wrong. Unless Ahaz decided to trust God, he would find himself continuing to lead in fear, without confidence, and from a state of panic.

Application:
It is so important that we trust God. When it comes time to make the right decisions in life we will be panicked, live in fear, and live without confidence if we put our trust in anything less than God Himself. When it is time to make decisions we ought to trust God. What are some ways we can show that we trust God?

  1. Consult and Obey His Word. God’s Word speaks directly to so many decisions we must make. It also gives us principles that help us make decisions that may not be as clear.
  2. Pray about the decisions we make. When we pray about our decisions we put ourselves in a posture of submission to God. We are opening our minds and hearts to God’s direction for our lives.
  3. Ask for wisdom. God’s Word tells us that He desires to give us wisdom. He gives it out liberally!
    James 1:5

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5

When we seek God’s will through His Word, seek God’s will through prayer, and seek God’s will through wisdom, we are showing that we trust God. When we do trust God our way is established.
God is working. We must trust His plan.

Response:
Would you say that you are trusting God right now?

Wisdom is obtainable. Proverbs- Week 6- Day 4

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. 

Proverbs 8:17 

Explanation:

Wisdom continues to speak in verse 17, and what is being said is quite profound.  Wisdom says that she loves those that love wisdom.  It may seem weird to think of a character trait like wisdom exhibiting another trait like love.  What is the point being made?  Wisdom does not discriminate by any skin color, economic status, social status, or country of origin.  Remember the foundational premise of the book of Proverbs.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  It is possible for anyone who begins with the fear of the Lord to obtain wisdom.  By definition there must be an abandoning of foolishness, but wisdom is obtainable by anyone.

This is corroborated by the second half of the verse which promises wisdom to those who seek after her.  Notice that it says to “seek early”.  The idea here is not a haphazard searching for wisdom that would be “nice to have”.  This is the idea that the person who prioritizes seeking out wisdom will find wisdom when they do.

We have access to so much wisdom in the Word of God.  The Creator of the Universe entered in to human History and revealed Himself to us.  The King of Kings wrote a book and tells us what the purpose of the book is in 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 

The scripture is God’s Word.  It is good for teaching us to think rightly and correcting where we think wrongly.  It is good for correcting our behavior and giving us instruction for living so that we can grow into maturity, being fully equipped to all the good and wise things that God desires for us to do.  We will find no great repository of wisdom than the Word of God.

Application:

Wisdom is not some unobtainable quality.  It is something that we have access to, and if we seek it with our whole hearts we will find it.  If we ask God for wisdom, He will give it to us.

We need wisdom.  We should feel that need and seek after it early!

Response:

What does it look like for you to make seeking for wisdom part of your lifestyle?

Wisdom is powerful. Proverbs- Week 6- Day 3

I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.  (13)  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.  (14)  Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.  (15)  By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.  (16)  By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. 

Proverbs 8:12-16 

Explanation:

Wisdom personified continues to speak in these verses, and she begins to talk about her role among leaders in society.  This is evident in verses 15 and 16 where she mentions kings, princes nobles, and judges.  Wisdom’s subject matter changes in verse 12 towards this role starting in verse 12.  Wisdom says she lives with prudence.  We are usually closely related with those we live with and this is the idea here.  She also says she that she “finds out knowledge of witty inventions”.  The word here for “witty inventions” is the word transliterated “mezimmah” which occurs 22 times in the Old Testament.  The word relates to plans,  and more often than not speaks of evil plans.  With the context of the word being used just before verse 13 which speaks of hating evil, pride, arrogance, the evil way and the froward mouth, it would make sense that she is saying that wisdom is not naive.  When wisdom is found in rulers they are people who are prudent, and who use their wisdom to put a stop to those who do evil and pervert justice.  They use wisdom combined with their position of power to promote righteousness in the land.

In verse 14 wisdom claims she owns counsel and “sound wisdom”.  The idea of the word translated as “sound wisdom” seems to speak to the kind of wisdom that is practical and not just theoretical.  It is a wisdom that can be put into practice.  Notice the connection that Wisdom says here to execution of the duties of a leader.  Words like “strength”, “reign”, “decree”, and “rule” in connection with kings, princes, nobles, and judges indicate that there is a power to wisdom.  Wisdom really is powerful in that it helps the leader to lead well.  It encourages them to use their influence and position to thwart the evil doer and execute righteousness.

Application:

If wisdom is powerful enough for kings to righteously rule over nations, it is powerful enough for you to lead your home, run your business, influence your neighborhood, and promote the fear of the Lord among those you influence.  Wisdom is a powerful thing, and as we will see in the upcoming verses it is an obtainable thing.  The book of James tells us something incredible about obtaining wisdom:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 

James 1:5 

Response:

What an incredible thing to be promised access to something this powerful.  The obvious questions are these- do you ask for wisdom?  Do you see out wisdom?  Does wisdom inform how you live your life?