March 22, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Ahmi Kim, Gracepoint Berkeley

What attitude is urged regarding wisdom? (List all the words used in the text.)
Urgently respond (Prov 1:22-28)
Earnestly seek it and look for it (Prov 2:4)
Call & cry out for it, search for it (Prov 2:1-6)
Take aggressive and proactive action to find and look for it (Prov 2, 4 & 8 )
Choose it instead of silver, gold, wealth
Consider it most valuable, costs more than all you have (Prov 8); esteem it, embrace it
Love it, do not forsake it
Supreme

Why is wisdom the most precious thing that we should seek in life?
It leads us to understand the fear of the Lord, find knowledge of God, and it leads to protection from being overcome by sin’s calamities over me.

How intensely do I treasure wisdom?  What evidence is there in my life that I seek to grow in wisdom?
Wisdom as defined in Proverbs is not just amassing knowledge or common sense. It’s growing in the fear of the Lord, knowing Him and understanding in His wisdom, not just conventional wisdom. From Him comes true wisdom with which we can gauge the wisdom of the world.

Ironically, when I was younger and objectively lacked wisdom more than now, I believed I was wiser. However, now that I’ve objectively collected more wisdom over the years, I believe I am not so wise.

The main reason for this is in the context of ministry, of trying to love others and care for others. There are so many subjective factors that color my thoughts and decisions, it’s really hard to know what is wise. I found that I can talk about it all I want with as many people as possible, but still do not come to the right conclusion or see what is truly important, unless I seek God’s wisdom through leaders, the church, the Word, prayer, and faith. Therefore, I see His wisdom in Jesus’ calling for me, to love one another as He has loved me. In doing so, I learn to long for, recognize the need for, and therefore, learn to receive gratefully His widom in my life. In this way, I have also experienced the riches of the blessings in Proverbs 8:32-36. I know that, apart from effort to serve others in the context of ministry, within our church, I would not be humble and needy for His wisdom. But, because God gave me such an opportunity, I, in turn, am becoming the blessed one.


Submitted by Andrew Iskandar, Gracepoint Minneapolis

§  What attitude is urged regarding wisdom? (List all the words used in the text.)
Attitude/Stance to have towards wisdom
Attitudes/Stance to NOT have towards wisdom
–        “[give] heed”
–        “accept my words”
–        “store up my commands”
–        “[turn] your ear to”
–        “[apply] your heart to understanding”
–        “call our for insight”
–        “cry aloud for understanding”
–        “look for it”
–        “search for it”
–        “Do not forsake” it
–        “Choose [God’s] instruction”
–        “wisdom is more precious”
–        “listen to [God]”
–        “watching daily”
–        “waiting at [God’s] doorway”
–        Do not “hate knowledge”
–        Do not “reject”
–        Do not “ignore”
–        Do not “reject” his rebuke
The overall attitude that is urged regarding wisdom is to seek it out and hold onto it. God presents me with many opportunities to gain wisdom and knowledge and I need to grab onto those opportunities. He’ll correct or rebuke me in a certain situation and I need to receive and respond to it as an opportunity to gain wisdom. He’ll give me advice and call out to me and I need to give heed in those moments and not ignore Him. But more importantly, I should be a person that goes and looks for it. I should have a desiring and humble attitude towards wisdom. Wisdom is said to be more precious than gold, silver and rubies and I need to go after it as if I were searching for hidden treasure.
§  What is it about wisdom that requires this kind of attitude?
Wisdom is the most precious thing that I can seek in this world. It is more precious than silver, gold, and rubies. It will “protect” me and “watch over me” in life and ultimately it reigns “supreme.” It is the one overall thing I should seek because it will lead me down proper paths, towards God, “life” and God’s “favor.” And because it is so precious I need to go seeking after it and holding onto it when I receive it and find it. The Proverbs imply that wisdom is not something that is easy to find and that there are limited opportunities to find it and receive it. And in fact, I could even reject it or ignore it in certain circumstances. God’s Word is a source of wisdom and I need to dive into it more often and intensely to seek after it. And another way to gain wisdom is learning from my mistakes and receiving corrections and reflecting upon my life and what God is trying to teach me. I need to continue to have that seeking and humble attitude towards it so that I can receive this precious gift of wisdom.
§  Why is wisdom the most precious thing that we should seek in life?
Wisdom is the most precious thing that I should seek in life because it comes from God and it will “protect” and “watch over” me and lead me towards “life” and allow me to “receive favor from the Lord.” In addition to this, it will keep me from “disaster” and “calamity.” Because wisdom comes from God, seeking after it will keep me on the path towards God and of course this is the best place to be! Wisdom from God will keep me away from the dangers of my sins and help me live the life that He intended me to live. I often think that I am wise in my own eyes, but this is a sign of being foolish. No wise person thinks himself wise, but he continues to be humble towards God and seek His guidance.
§  What can I learn from the fact that God is the source of wisdom?
God is the one true source of wisdom and this means that other supposed “sources of wisdom” are limited and inadequate. One inadequate source of wisdom is myself. I’ve learned over the years, through many painful experiences, mistakes, and struggles, that I often don’t know what is best for me. I think I do and when I do what I want to do (instead of listening to God) I end up causing damage to myself and those around me. I need to be humble about this truth and remember the mistakes I’ve made when I only trust in my “wisdom.” The world tries to be a source of wisdom in my life and it tells me to live a certain way and to value certain things. I’ve come to learn more readily the dangers of listening to this voice, but subtlety it still tugs at my heart because it’s a voice I’ve listened to for so long. There is the voice in this world that tells me to seek material things, to find security in money and wealthy and to pursue my own personal happiness and comfort. This voice tells me to be selfish with my resources and money and to only go after things that will directly benefit myself. I’ve seen the folly of this voice as I’ve experienced the joy of giving to others and serving the church and the emptiness of holding onto my life. I need to continue to ignore this false voice of wisdom. And finally, if God is the source of wisdom, I need to always reorient my life towards Him so that I can receive wisdom. Daily DT, prayer meeting, Friday bible studies, Sunday message, etc. are all opportunities for me to receive wisdom from God. I need to be humble during those moments and seek the wisdom that God wants me to find during those moments.

APPLICATION

§  How intensely do I treasure wisdom?  What evidence is there in my life that I seek to grow in wisdom?

Wisdom is something I’ve grown to treasure over the years. As I’ve seen in my life what “lack of wisdom” results in, I know that I need wisdom in my life. I’ve made many poor decisions and hurt many people because of my lack of wisdom and missed many opportunities to grow closer to God or to build His kingdom as a result. And because of that, I seek wisdom in my life. One piece of evidence is how much I value God’s word in my life. God’s word is the ultimate source of His wisdom. It is readily available to me and I can make the effort to seek it out in my life. Receiving God’s daily dose of wisdom through DT is one concrete way I seek to grow in wisdom. The day feels empty and incomplete when I don’t do my DT and I feel lost without it. Another way that I seek to grow in wisdom is receiving counsel and correction from others. I know that there are others who are more experienced and wise in life and I seek to gain the “jewels of wisdom” that they’ve gained. I learn from other people’s experiences and grow from them. I also want to gain insight into myself and so humbly receive correction and guidance. I know how I can be blind to truths about myself and so I try to hear what others have to say about me instead of being defensive and proud. Indeed, the older I get the more I realize how important wisdom is towards living the life that God wants me to live.

 

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